William Dunn

 
 
 

Early - Mid 1800’s, England. "WD" and the pattern number may be on the crown.  "WD" is sometimes stamped on hand guard along with "fleur-de-lis."  Click HERE to see pics of the founder marks and numbers on the crowns of these bells. The castings are thicker than modern bells.  Lathe marks (fine grooves) are clearly visible around the inside and outside, but the castings are polished relatively smooth.  Some castings have file marks from final tuning also.  Castings may have a "silvery" hue due to a higher amount of tin in the bell metal.  The clapper shafts are cylindrical with visible lathe marks.  Clapper heads and flights have decorative lines around them and the flights are very long (about 3/8” or so) and conical.  The wide, long springs look like fat "Ts."  Spring cushions and staple pins are rawhide or leather.  Clapper pegs, handles and handguards are leather.  Tuning may be noticeably sharp (mine are quite sharp). The fundamental is more pronounced than the overtones, and this, along with the high tin content, produces a lovely pure, silvery sound.


The set was purchased from an antique dealer, who got them from the great grandson of the original owner.  Two of the bells were tethered together by a metal bar.  The bells were used to practice change ringing and kept in a belfry, exposed to the elements for years.  Marlow said they were quite a challenge to restore, but they came out beautifully!