Antique Dinner Bells: You Rang?

Once upon a time, just before dinner, a bell was heard…to ring!

Antique Sterling and Ivory Dinner Bell by Josef Hoffman

Auction Estimate: $70,000.00 – $90,000.00
(Offered by Phillips de Pury & Company Auction Co.)

A long time ago, in cottage, house or a mansion, not every one was tied to a time piece to let them know when it was time to do whatever it was that was so important to do: there were other ways to indicate comings and goings…

My favorite was the dinner bell…


Art Nouveau Figural Bronze Dinner Bell

Sold By Doyle’s Auction Company of New York

There has never been a better way to be called to chow, than the simple sound of tinkle tinkle bell, come out from where ever you are…to dinner, to happy conversation…to the smell of soup, salad, and a seared brisket or a roast of savory meat.

Call me to dinner with a dinner bell, and I’ll love you forever…


William Spratling Silver Dinner Bell

Sold by Heritage Auctions

Oh, and how about the second best use of a dinner bell…? To call to the cook or the butler; please serve me my wine, next course please…give this note to so and so, letting them know to not act or be such a bore.

To silence a table, or to make an announcement, ring a dinner bell

Fancy Cast Iron and Brass Victorian Dinner Bell

Sold by Dirk Soulis Auctions

Do not call me to dinner with anything rough or pedestrian, like a vocal call, or the blowing of a horn or the striking of a gong; make your wishes known for my presence, with a small silver or bronze bell. I will hear, for I am hungry, and have waited the long day for a dinner with you and so many fine fellows, and the laughter their friendship brings.

With index finger and thumb gently lift and ring the dinner bell…


Elkington Sterling Silver Dinner Bell

Sold by New Orleans Auction Galleries, Inc

It was back an age, when so much in the world tumbled one way and then the next…as war scratched the sky with bombers, and thousands met for the first time in shelters, that I am sure some aristocrat insisted that war could wait…that all could wait, until after the meal signaled by the dinner bell.

If at first you you don’t succeed ring again the dinner bell.

Austrian Brass Figural Dinner Bell c. 1910,

Sold by Dumouchelles Auction Co.

…Go find yourself a dinner bell, one of bronze, or silver, or if you have an especially rich heredity one in gold. But do not supper alone. Do not toil to eat too little or too hastily, remember a friend and show them your kindness…with an invitation.

By ringing them to table with your dinner bell.


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