This Modern Southwest-inspired rustic wind bell titled San Jose is part of our new Mission Style Bell Collection we call Frontier Bells™ and is a gorgeous addition to any home, deck, patio, greenhouse, or garden. It is the perfect gift for anyone who enjoys Western American history and Southwestern Styled Art.
The bell body including the sail is approximately 11" tall x 5" wide x 3" deep. There is a short chain attached (included) at the top for hanging.
Our rustic bells are not cast as in the old days, but instead, they are made from steel and repurposed materials. As with the appearance, the tone of the bell is 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.
Every Frontier Mission Bell™ bears the monogram of the artist… a small "M" on the striker.
A Bit Of Mission Bell History...
The San Jose de la Laguna mission is located a few miles west of modern-day Albuquerque, NM. The local villagers built the mission in 1699, after the Pueblo Indian Revolt. The church remains one of the best-preserved missions from this early period in North America. The interior is 105 feet by 22 feet. There is only one door, and one window in the structure. The interior is decorated with a mixture of Spanish paintings and tribal Laguna symbols.
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.