Clapper bell

Clapper bell
Other views of this artifact:

Accession Number:
Sudan? , Uganda?
Date Made:
By 1940
Iron Metal
Forged (Metal) , Hammered , Bent
Total L = 120; bell L = 100, base diam = 18 x 17.3, wall t = 1; suspension loop L = 17, W bar = 3.5; clapper L = 105, diam = 3.5, base diam = 10 mm [RTS 5/9/2005].
50.6 g
Other Owners:
Samuel P. Powell
Field Collector:
Samuel P. Powell
PRM Source:
Samuel P. Powell
Loaned 1940
Collected Date:
By 1940
Clapper bell made in 2 joining parts. The bell has been formed from at least 2 rectangular iron sheets hammered together to form a double thickness, with the edges folded inward on the upper part to form a narrow, rectangular-sectioned tongue with concave shoulders. This has been bent over into a suspension loop at the top, the tip of which is only roughly finished. Below, the sides of the sheet have been bent inwards to form a narrow cylindrical bell with an open seam running down the front. The body expands slightly towards its base. The clapper has been made from a separate piece of iron, roughly circular in section. This is bent over at the top, where it hooks over the suspension loop; the clapper body then extends below the base of the bell, where the end has been curled up and inwards. The bell is complete and intact, with some surface rust that has darkened the metal to a brownish colour (Pantone Black 7C). It has a weight of 50.6 grams and a total length of 120 mm; the bell body is 100 mm long, with a base diameter of 18 by 17.3 mm and a wall thickness of 1 mm; the suspension loop is 17 mm long, and 3.5 mm wide; the clapper is 105 mm long, with a rod diameter of 3.5 mm and a base diameter of 10.8 mm.

Collected by Samuel P. Powell, probably either in the Southern Sudan or Northern Uganda.

Petherick collected 3 bells of this type, which he attributed to the Dinka (see 1884.108.10-12), while a similar form is known from Kiga in Uganda (see
M. Trowell & K.P. Wachsmann, 1953, Tribal Crafts of Uganda, pl. 77H and p. 326).

Rachael Sparks 19/9/2005.

Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [Loans] - Estate of S.P. Powell, c/o N.H. Haslam, Esq Manager, Westminster Bank, Stony Stratford, Bucks. Collected by himself. Data from his labels and notes. - The following objects were not labelled and there was no list. Some identifications suggested by similarity to objects labelled or others already in P.R. these are given ? - Bell, made from piece of iron tubing ?end of socket of spear
Added Accession Book Entry - All unlocalised specimens have been provisionally labelled Africa Cards in box African unlocalised

Card Catalogue Entry - AFRICA Bell, made from piece of iron tubing (?end of socket of spear). Not labelled by collector. S.P. Powell collection. Lent by his executors.

Pitt Rivers Museum label - Bell. ?Made from socket of spear? S.P. Powell, 1940.7.0339 [brown luggage label, tied to object; RTS 1/9/2005].

Related Documents File - There is a typewritten list of objects on file, annotated by hand with accession numbers next to the object descriptions, and on back: "List of Curios" and "Far from complete". This object does not appear in the list [RTS 16/12/2003].

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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