Monday, June 19, 2006

Sir George Murray

' I have another old bell that might interest you'.Off I shot to my favourite antique shop in Hungerford and another little adventure had begun. When I first saw it the first thing that struck me was its sheer size and weight. It stands 16 inches and has a diameter of 8 inches. That's the practical limit of a handled bell. It had a dark brown appearance-it looked like a lacquer rather than patina. The letters SIR GEORGE MURRAY held its own mystery. Who was he? A google search was inconclusive. I am still working on it's origins. After buying the bell (was there ever any doubt!) off to my friends at the Whitechapel bell foundry. A good excuse for another day out. After a conference with Steve, my favourite craftsman, I left it with him to remove the lacquer and to clean the bell without creating an 'as new' appearance. I picked it up a few days later to find he had done a wonderful job. My final visit was to my woodturner in Christchurch to decide details of the plinth which I like to display my bells on. I actually pick that up tomorrow. Here is the bell as it looks today. Whoever he was Sir George Murray has a special place in my study and I will remember him even if no one else does. That's the magic of bells like this. My little piece of history, living on and giving someone pleasure. Not all history has that effect!

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