bells in Europe
are of the A type.
Leonard Scicluna of
LSC Metal Finishing in Qormi, Malta reports the following:
...As we are involved
in metal parts restoration we encounter a lot of memorabilia. We
make a lot of parts for horse owners and we frequently get these
Tiger bells for chrome plating. Their owners always say that they
are over a 100 years old. Over here the bells are mounted on horses
as decoration. A type which I did not see on your site is a tiger
bell with a back plate. I do not know if the back plate was assembled
afterwards or it was original like that. Anyway, I attached a photo
for you to see...
Two tiger bells fixed
on back plates
Photograph: courtesy Leo Scicluna
clearly classic tiger bells. It does not seem very likely that the
arrival of tiger bells in Malta is related to religion or shamanism,
one of the important reasons why the tiger bells are present in other
regions. The reason why the tiger bells arrived in Malta must be another
one. This and other questions I asked Mr. Scicluna. His response:
...As we are the only
place were one can chrome plate in Malta we take approx 60% of the
market. In these past three years we plated between 25 and 30 tiger
bells to some 12 or 13 clients, all horse enthusiasts, and these
enthusiasts one can find them by the hundreds in Malta. Like I said
in my previous e-mail, our clients all boast that the bells are
more than 100 years old and are very proud of them... As regards
to how the bells got to Malta, could it be that they were brought
by the British during their occupancy of Hong Kong and Malta. Also
Malta had very good ties with China in the late nineteen seventies,
besides that Malta was occupied by some seven different countries...
Tiger bells attached to
back plates are not (yet) reported in other places
(details of picture above). Photographs: courtesy Leo Scicluna
by Leo Scicluna, in Februray 2011.
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