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"One of my uncles, Beniamino Andriani, my father Francesco's brother, once told me that my grandparents Andrea and Beatrice, went from Giovinazzo to Bari for their wedding trip. There they bought a "Madonna del Rosario" glass bell as the past popular tradition . It happened in the late 1890s."




The "glass bell" is a blown glass artwork used to shelter fragile and precious traditional objects such as watches, china-wares, short religious statues. For that usage it was named "coperta" (cover, shelter) in the glassworkers language.

Its usage goes back to the XVIII century, but it became one of the most popular items in southern Italy in the following century, as to distinguish those times furnitures.

The complete full-range visibility supported its circulation and diffusion so much that it substiuted trifles, shrines and other religious subjects containers in the immediate future.

The glass which it was made of, mostly white and crystalline, has sometimes showed plain pink, green, light blue colouring.

Its base has mostly been black painted wooden-made, generally circle shaped, and its placing bottom has a groove where the glass dome gets stuck.

The Glass Bell dimensions are widely different. Surveys report from 16 cm high as min , up to 101 cm as max. But the tallest one, as in the magazine "La voce di Murano" in 1876, Nr. 11, page 43, was 175 cm high and 60 cm in the base diameter. It was built in Massachussets (USA) by some Italian migrants coming from an Italian region named Veneto.

from "Santi sotto campane e devozione" by L. De Venuto and B.Andriano Cestari

           Schena edit. 1995

Home page picture:

"Child Jesus Good Shepherd"

Page picture: Saint Anthony from Padua

All Globe Bells from this site are from Beatrice Andriano Cestari's private collection.

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