each bronze bell of graduated tone and worn gilding on the original spring mount with a weighed visual indicator, each lever, two for fire-side and one for bedside, with an engine-turned bezel and copper sleeve, ornamented with flowerhead ornament (some losses),
It isn't easy to find bells such as these. They are so evocative of "life belowstairs" in a sizable country house and were central to the running of the household. The weighted indicator continued to bob after the bell had sounded enabling the maid - scurrying through from the laundry - to see where she was needed upstairs. Large houses had dozens of such bells mounted in rows in the pantry, each with a handpainted or even gilded label. They were connected by an intricate network of piano wires running through the walls to the principle rooms and bedrooms of the main house. In the early 20th century, as the great houses were universally wired for electricity, these systems were replaced with an electrical equivalent.