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Tiger bells in East Asia


One newly made tiger bell of the A type .

Autumn 2014 Dolf and Marjan Heubers from the Netherlands travelled through Japan. Dolf Heubers knew this website and about the search for the tiger bell; he already reported tiger bells from Afghanistan and China. During their trip through Japan they had not seen any tiger bells until... a giftshop in Nishikikoji dori (street) in Kyoto I found a small tiger bell. According to the shop owner the bell is a locally made copy, after a Chinese original. The bell is beautifully finished.

The design is clearly that of the classic tiger bell. The fact that tiger bells were until then totally unknown in Japan and the remarkable quality of the object could indicate that they are produced locally since (very) recent times. On what scale they are produced is not known.

In the design the eye-lines show a remarkable detail: the line indicating the nose stops at the line near the 'forehead'. The curved line at the other side of the eye is a new element with its own start and end. This is not seen in other bells, both old and new.

The bell is attached to a key ring.

Dimensions: 39 mm. (incl. hoop) x 32 mm. x 25 mm.
Photographs: courtesy Dolf Heubers

Reported and donated to the author in 2014 by Dolf Heubers.

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