Petit & Fritsen


1950's-1990's, Holland. P&F castings are much thicker and heavier than English bells. Lathe marks are highly visible inside and out, but the castings are not polished smooth which gives the metal almost a florentine finish. The castings are not as flared out as much as English bells either. There are two styles of clapper mechanisms: one with felt covered spring cushions (similar to Whitechapel) and another with rocker springs (see picture of F3 below). The clapper shaft looks like a long threaded bolt covered by a plastic sheath and the mechanism is bolted right through casting. The clapper heads are large and round with flat sides. The flight is a nut which holds the top part of the mechanism secure. The leather or nylon clapper pegs are usually felt covered. There are looped, metal stiffeners inserted in the leather handles. Bell designation and pattern numbers (casting numbers are different from English bells) are stamped on handle. "Petit & Fritsen" "Made in Holland" may be stenciled in black inside the handle also. The handguards are decorated with little half moons. Strong minor third and other rich overtone in tuning produce the tower bell sound. If you ring a P&F bell and damp the lip quickly with your thumb and forefinger, you will be able to hear these overtones speak. P&Fs made in the late 1980's-1990's have a major third, but the other overtones are so rich, they still sound like tower bells. Because of this, P&Fs sound better on a single melody line, sparse chords or polyphonic music.  A440.

My 3 octave set pictured below has Malmark clappers.  That set was purchased from the Hussite Ringers, James Salzwedel, director, when they disbanded; while the upper 4th was from Tex Minter; and the rare F3 and astounding C3(!) from an antique shop.