Bells for Horses

Bells have been used to ornament horses since ca. 800 BCE. It was believed that the bells attracted good luck and acted as a charm protecting against disease, injury, and evil.  Fancy brass bells also provided an opportunity to show off wealth and social status.  The practical use of bells on horses, wagons, and sleighs is to warn pedestrians and other drivers of on-coming vehicles.  Vendors also belled their horses to alert customers of their arrival. The bells on this string are brass and are riveted to a thick leather strap. The six bells measure 3”, 3 ½”, and 5” in diameter and dates to ca. 1890-1920. Jennewin Collection, 1989:179:007. #WhatsNewWednesday