Vintage French Needlepoint Wool Tassel Bell Pull - Butlers Bell - Flowers - Victorian - Pink Burgundy Gold Blue


Brand Unknown

Here is a lovely bell pull just acquired from a lovely Estate. This one has an Art Deco design in shades of blue, burgundy / pink / mauve on a golden background. It is handmade needlepoint , made of wool with a gold tassel pull and a small ring on the back for hanging. It is lined on the back with a creamy color fabric which has yellowed over the years but is in good condition with no tears or damage.

Measures appx 38" long including tassel x 4 1/2" wide

Bell Pull History

In 1744, a London periodical advertised the invention of a bell system that would forever change the way modern houses were run.

Before the conception of the bell pull, a servant would be present either outside or just inside the entrance door to any main room, waiting for commands from the owner as a servant needed be present at all times to tend to keeping fires going, looking after candles and oil lamps, etc. .

The new bell system worked with copper wires and pulleys. A brass handle was mounted on the wall. When the handle was pulled it would operate a sprung bell outside the room. Normally there would be a bell allocated to each room in the house as well as one for the front door, so a panel would be mounted either in the servants quarters, in the hallway or kitchen, with all of the bells fixed to it. Each bell would have a label under it to indicate which room it was pertaining to and when the servants heard a bell ringing they could quite easily see which room required their services. If you're a fan of Downton Abbey you may have noticed the bell system in the downstairs servants quarters.

The invention of the bell system allowed servants to carry out other important chores below stairs and still be available should they be summoned by their superiors to carry out a task or visitors ringing the front door bell. It also gave the owners of the house their privacy as they no longer required a footman to be ever present.

The Victorians took the bell pull system to another level, wires running in copper pipes were concealed behind plasterwork or under floorboards, they also used sprung pulleys so the wires could turn corners thus allowing the bells to be situated further away from the main rooms in the house. The external bell pull was either a rod mounted on the wall adjacent to the main front entrance door or a Pull Knob similar to our Claverley Bell Pull . Bell pulls are used to summon workers in homes of people who have butlers, maids or other servants, and often have a tassel or an ornate metal clasp at the bottom. The bell pull is one element of a complex interior mechanical network which typically in Victorian times involved a range of bell pulls in different rooms; moreover, these bell connections link to a central bank of bells in a room where servants would await commands.

-sources Wikipedia, The Period Ironmonger