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Vintage India Sarna Brass Wedding Bells c.1940s
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Vintage India Sarna Brass Wedding Bells c.1940s

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Sold Date: 03/11/2007
Channel: Online Auction
Source: eBay

Vintage India Sarna Brass Wedding Bells c.1940s

These bells are number 292 of the nearly 1,000 bell collection of New Mexico matriarch, Lillian Yrisarri de Livingston, great-granddaughter of Don Francisco Xavier Chavez, the first governor of New Mexico when the territory came under Mexican rule in 1822. Lillian collected her bells from 1943 to her death in 1957. She was a member of the American Bell Association at that time. For the past fifty years her bells sat undisturbed and forgotten in storage. Although she kept an accurate ledger detailing each of the bells, her journal #1 was never recovered. Journal #1 documented bells numbered 1-360. These bells were collected from 1943 to 1949.

Her numbered identification tag on this bell reads: "#292 India Wedding Bells. This is a rare opportunity to own a unique and documented artifact from one of New Mexico 's prominent families. (See my other listings from this collection.)

"A corner of sari, the bride's dress, is tied to the bridegroom's coat. The Pandit makes a mixture of saffron and rosewater and puts it on the foreheads of the bride and bridegroom. He then chants hymns while ringing bells and reads in Sanskrit. Once in a while they call upon the bride and bridegroom to throw fragrant herbs on ghee (clarified butter) in the fire or ring a bell. The room is filled with smoke from dhoop and the aroma of sandalwood. All is quiet except for the chants of the Brahmans (priests) and the ringing of the bells. This may last for two to three hours."

Larger than average wedding bells: 4 ½ , 4 ¼ , and 3 ¾ " high; 2 ½ , 2 ¼ , and 2" wide; heavy brass; great condition; inscribed inside with SSS.

I've had several questions about these bells. These are not my bells. I'm selling them to help Lillian's elderly descendent. If a buyer is further interested, I will be glad to email old newspaper articles that were done about Lillian and her collection.

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