An Unusual Early 18th Century Central or South American Bell and Chain

2.1" (5.3cm) high, the chain 12.5"(31.8cm) long

The cast bowl of small size with stepped rim below a chased band of stiff leafage descending from a plain upper band. The domed top part with alternate matted and plain bands capped by open symmetrical scrollwork. Complete with contemporary chain formed with oval hoops separated by three flat shaped oval and pierced panels. The inside engraved with script intials J.S.


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This unusual bell is stamped with post 1838 French marks but the style and construction is totally alien to French silver from the 19th century. Presumably the piece was brought from Central or South America to France and was submitted for hallmarking. This is not an unknown practice and occasionally happened in England during the 16th and17th centuries. Furthermore the style of the engraved initials is not French but shows  Spanish influence.