Bell

ca. 1864 (made)

Unknown

Height: 11.5 cm, Diameter: 7.1 cm

804-1864 MET

Aluminium bell with copper alloy handle, cast and engraved, England, about 1862

Conical aluminium bell decorated with bright-cut engraving including a band of leaves around the lip, flowers and bows around the centre, and pointed triangles around the top, the waisted handle of cast copper-alloy with a central knop and small ball finial.

The Museum bought this bell from a Working Men’s Exhibition in 1864. It is an early example of aluminium used for an everyday object. Aluminium’s versatility contributed to the demise of the brass industry. The lightest of structural metals, it could be stamped, rolled, spun, cast, engraved and riveted. In the 1860s aluminium was treated almost as a precious metal.

The Museum bought this bell from a Working Men's Exhibition in 1864. It is an early example of aluminium used for an everyday object.

Location: Metalware, room 116, case 2

View this object on the V&A website