A fine and finely-molded copy of the Liberty Bell, made in black Basalt by Wedgewood. Souvenir copies of the Liberty Bell have been popular since the late nineteenth century, but this is the nicest example we've ever seen.
I've yet to track down the history of these pieces, but all the ones I've seen have been dated 1969, which suggests they all come from a single, limited run. The presence of the Buten Museum in the Philadelphia suburb of Merion is a likely source, as they were responsible for the Wedgwood Collector's Society and many unusual Wedgwood items produced in the second half of the twentieth century. The year 1969 is significant in the bell's history as it was the year that moving the bell out of the vestibule of Independence Hall was official mooted.
The bell is 3.5" tall and 3" in diameter at the mouth.
Condition: as new, no wear or damage. There is a clapper in this bell (a bead of black basalt on a piece of wire) but the bell clearly wasn't made for its tone.
Mark: impressed Wedgwood marks on the interior rim, dated 1969. The gold printed marks reproduce the actual marks on the bell, which read: PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF LEV. XXV. V X. / BY ORDER OF THE ASSEMBLY OF THE PROVINCE OF PENSYLVANIA FOR THE STATE HOUSE IN PHILADA / PASS AND STOW / PHILAD / MDCCLIII
As the inscription states, the bell in its current form was cast in 1753 by Pass and Stow here in Philadelphia. This firm actually recast the bell twice. It was originally ordered from and cast by the the Whitechapel Foundry in London. The original bell cracked, as did the two recast bells, showing just how difficult bell casting was in the 18th century. The cracked bell became a symbol of the abolitionist movement in the early 19th century, which lead to the bell's fame today.