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Hand bell

Hand bell

  • Place of origin:

    Vicenza (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1690-1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    De Maria foundry (manufacturers)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This hand bell relates to a group of hand bells of distinctive shape, apparently signed by different members of the De Maria family, bell-founders of Vicenza.

Physical description

Hand bell with moulded crown decorated with flying birds alternating with florid fleurs-de-lis in triangular panels. The body delineated by a cove above and scotia below, and decorated with figures of the Virgin and Child. The Virgin crowned with a halo standing on a crescent moon, supporting the Christ Child in the right arm and holding a sceptre in the left and flanked by fleurs-de-lis. St. John the Evangelist with arms crossed against the chest and flanked by fleurs-de-lis; St. Anthony Abbot with fore-shortened halo, holding a book in the proper left hand and a staff in the right, with a head of a pig to the left and a fire to the right, a separate fleur-de-lis at the left; the figures separated by arabesque containing genii or victory with outstretched arms holding wreaths. Around the sound bow, downward-facing elaborate fleurs-de-lis applied in extended triangular panels. Around the rim, in relief, a pointing hand, a cross, two fleurs-de-lis.

Place of Origin

Vicenza (made)


ca. 1690-1700 (made)


De Maria foundry (manufacturers)

Marks and inscriptions

"to the honour of God"


Height: 8.7 cm, Diameter: 10 cm

Descriptive line

Hand bell, Vicenza ca. 1690-1700.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Motture, Peta. Bells and Mortars. Catalogue of Italian Bronzes in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 2001. pp. 182-4. cat. no. 61.

Production Note

ca. 1690-1700 or possibly a later cast.


Bell metal

Subjects depicted

Book; Birds; Fleurs-de-lis; Arabesque; Crescent moon; Pig; Genii




Sculpture Collection

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