This Southwest-inspired rustic wind bell titled San Estevan is our original Frontier Bell™ and makes a gorgeous addition to any home, deck, patio, greenhouse, or garden. It is the perfect gift for anyone that enjoys rustic elegance.
The length of the bell body with the striker is about 11 inches. The width is approximately 5 inches, depth is 3"
Every Frontier Mission Bell™ bears the monogram of the artist… a small "M" on the striker.
As with the appearance, the tone of these beautiful bells is also more rustic.
Each of our mission bells is individually handcrafted in Virginia applying time-honored American Craftsman techniques. Part of our "All Things Made Better in America" mindset.
A Bit Of Mission Bell History...
San Estévan del Rey Mission; In 1629, as a “gesture of peace” and to attempt to Christianize the natives, the Spanish began to build the San Estévan del Rey Mission, which included a church, convent, and cemetery. All of the building materials, including some 20,000 tons of earth and stone, were hand-carried or hauled up the steep slopes of the mesa.
The mission was located at Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico. The San Estevan del Rey Mission church currently houses the largest inventory of early 17th-century building material of any structure in New Mexico. In addition, it features a large Spanish colonial art collection, an original hand-hewn circular staircase, hand-carved rails, and paintings. (this historical snippet courtesy Wikipedia)
Early missions at their founding were to have two bells, one presumably for devotions and the other for the day's routine, but all missions in time had as many as eight. The later bells were obtained in trade by way of American ships from Lima, Mexico, Boston, and Russian sources.
Due to a lack of funds, most small villages had to make their own bells. In the 19th century, several bell casters traveled around New Mexico making them on the spot. The villagers collected all their copper pots, pans, cups, and plates, and these were melted down in a huge kettle.
Because a bell composed entirely of copper had a dull ring, the villagers often threw some of their gold and silver jewelry into the mix. Locally made bells were crudely cast in a sand mold in the ground.
Fine bells imported from Spain or Mexico often had a saint’s name and date included on their outer surfaces as part of the original casting. Our rustic bells are not cast as in the old days but made from steel and repurposed materials.