These antique "patent" bells, 1 1/4" diameter, are a particularly nice bell to own -- sturdy, pleasant sounding, and attractive. I used the 26 bells just as they came off the original strap -- unpolished and uncleaned -- per the customer's request. Many of these solid brass bells still show traces of the original nickel plating that once gave the bells a shiny silver finish.
Their new strap is made from dark brown bridle leather 7/8 inch wide and about 85 inches long. The new solid brass buckle was darkened to blend with the bells. It is attached to the strap with simple lines of stitching. The bells are spaced 2 inches apart along the strap based on measurements from the original bell strap.
The ends of the strap were missing, so I recreated the ends based on measurements from similar bell straps. The length of the chape (the leather between the last bell and the fold of the buckle) is about 5 inches. The length of the billet (the other end of the strap that has holes for the buckle tongue) is about 10 inches.
Major George W. Tucker held the 1876 and 1878 patents for the ingenious process of forming these bells from flat sheet brass. Tucker was a prominent, respected citizen of Waterbury, Massachusetts, and an officer in the American Ring Company, the manufacturer of his bells. In 1886, he ruined his reputation and was dismissed in disgrace from American Ring for embezzling a substantial sum of money.
This particular item is a custom, one-of-a-kind project made for a past client. Items in this Custom Projects section are for information only; they are not available for regular sale.