Collectible and Vintage Bells
Bells announce the coming or arrival of an event, activity, or occasion. They toll for good times. They toll for bad times. They ring out warnings. Bells herald in the New Year. Bells are rung to announce the union of a man and a woman. They are rung during Christmas to announce the arrival of the season, to proclaim the birth of Christ.
Ringing of bells can be traced back to pagan winter celebrations. During those times, noisemakers were used to scare away evil spirits in the night. Among those early noisemakers were bells. People had fun ringing the bells and making noise. It was too much fun to just use bells to scare demons away. So over time, bell ringing was incorporated into other events and activities. Bells are rung at churches to call people to gather, as warnings, and to bring people together to make announcements.
From these ancient roots, the ringing of bells began to be used in the Christian Christmas season. The soft, cheerful tones blended well and enhanced the sounds of the season. Today, they play an important, traditional role during the holiday. One can find vintage glass bell tree ornaments, sleigh bells, caroling bells, and decorative bells of all varieties on the market.
Bell collectors are intrigued by the appearance, sound and history of bells. Bell collections vary depending on member interest: brass bells, bronze bells, ceramic bells, glass bells, crystal bells, porcelain bells, wood bells - all types of bells.
Bells have been around for centuries. The Egyptians believed that a mystical sound from God was communicated through the sound of a bell. Bells have a pure tone that is actually made of two notes. Some attest to the healing effect of bells such as with the ringing of the Tibetan bells.
About Norman Rockwell: Born in New York City in 1894, Norman Rockwell always wanted to be an artist. At age 14, Rockwell enrolled in art classes at The New York School of Art (formerly The Chase School of Art). Two years later, in 1910, he left high school to study art at The National Academy of Design. He soon transferred to The Art Students League.
Rockwell found success early. He painted his first commission of four Christmas cards before his sixteenth birthday. While still in his teens, he was hired as art director of Boys' Life, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America, and began a successful freelance career illustrating a variety of young people's publications.
At age 21, Rockwell's family moved to New Rochelle, New York. There, Rockwell set up a studio with the cartoonist Clyde Forsythe and produced work for such magazines as Life, Literary Digest, and Country Gentleman.
In 1916, the 22-year-old Rockwell painted his first cover for The Saturday Evening Post, the magazine considered by Rockwell to be the "greatest show window in America." Over the next 47 years, another 321 Rockwell covers would appear on the cover of the Post.
The 1930's and 1940's are generally considered to be the most fruitful decades of Rockwell's career. The family moved to Arlington, Vermont, in 1939, and Rockwell's work began to reflect small-town American life.
In 1963, Norman Rockwell ended his 47-year association with The Saturday Evening Post and began to work for Look magazine. During his 10-year association with Look, Rockwell painted pictures illustrating some of his deepest concerns and interests, including civil rights, America's war on poverty, and the exploration of space.
In 1977, Rockwell received the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal.