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RACING-BELL

It is a type of bell in the form of a hollow perforated sphere containing a loose ball emitting a ringing sound when shaken. Racing-bells were awarded as prizes for horse races in Scotland and Northern England in the 16th and 17th centuries.
This is the earlier form of horse-racing trophy, later replaced by awards in the form of a bowl or a two-handled cup


silver-gilt racing bell


These racing-bells are the property of The Corporation of Carlisle and such a prize was not an uncommon one there. Balls were also given at York and at Chester.
The donor of the larger one was probably Elizabeth, daughter of George Talbot, fourth Earl of Shrewsbury, wife of William Lord Dacre of Gillesland, who was Governor of in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. It is silver-gilt and bear the inscription:
+ THE + SWEFTES + HORSE + THES + BEL + TO + TAK + FOR + MI + LADE + DAKER + SAKE



silver racing bell 1599



The smaller bell bears the initials of Henry Baines, Mayor of Carlisle in 1599.
(from Old English Plate by wilfred Joseph Cripps, London 1899)


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