Antique Sleigh Bells


Saturday was freezing cold, buy we even had some snow, but that didn’t stop Janet and I from antiquing over the weekend. We stopped at several small towns along the way. One of the things I bought for Carole’s Country Store, are these gorgeous old sleigh bells. These are larger in size then most I have seen, so they have a different sound. As you can see in the photo below, there is a number 300, but I don’t know what it means. Did you know that horse bells have been found by archaeologists in England, dating back to the Roman Empire?


Single bells were called “crotals”, and were mounted on Knight’s war horses in Medieval times. They were used for show, and as a symbol of wealth. Soon horse bells came to be viewed as a source of good luck, and as protection from evil and disease. Many believed that such bells would attract wealth or other good fortune.


As time went on horse bells became regular ornaments for wagons and sleighs, while traveling in the countryside. Because sleighs are more difficult to stop then wagons, bells became practical, warning pedestrians and other drivers on narrow roadways. In some places laws were put into place, saying that all sleighs have bells. Today, in some places in Canada, they still have those laws on the books. In the early 1800′s there was a thriving sleigh bell industry in East Hampton Conn. During this time of their popularity, James Pierpont wrote the song Jingle Bells in the early 1800′s, and later had it published in 1857. Today it has been translated into many languages, and is a popular winter song worldwide.
Ooops, almost forgot. Do you want to hear Frank Sinatra sing Jingle Bells. Just click here.
Happy day

3 Responses to “Antique Sleigh Bells”

  1. tj Says:

    …Oh my stars I love them! I just went to your store and they’re not there yet, can I ask what the price is on them? Are they sold already? And what a wonderful post on sleigh bells! I did not know that the song “Jingle Bells” was that old! Amazing…

    …I just responded moments ago to the e-mail you sent me recently, so sorry it took me so long to respond.

    …Love those bells! I’ll be watching for ‘em… :o )

    …Blessings dear Carole…

  2. Carole Says:

    Hi Tammy. I am so glad to hear from you! I just emailed you. The bells are in the store now. I had to give my webmaster a kick in the butt!

  3. Patty Says:

    I grew up with sleigh bells on our front door, always decorated for whatever season it was. Such fond memories

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