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May 6, 2012 / Linda Hartong


American Cowbells,

European Cowbells,

Sleigh Bells,

Shop-keeper Bells, 

Mechanical door Bells,

Nautical Bells,

Musical Bells

Years ago, bells were used in shops and other public places. They announce a customer or other person coming in if the shopkeeper is at the back of the store. They are still used for small stores and in some people’s homes in Carmel-by-the Sea.

I like this idea so much that I become somewhat obsessed with bells.

“Sticks and Stones”

is one of the first cottages where I really began to notice the different varieties. The owners of this home are world travelers and I suspect that this is a mix of American and European Cowbells.

On the other side of the gate, sleigh bells are added for fun.

I like the way the bells hang separately on the gate

of “Hasenyager House”.

The owners of this sweet,little,pink Murphy House have covered both gates.

Cowbells on the back

Sleigh bells on the front.

“Hearts and Flowers”

is not going to hear this European Cow Bell ring. But it adds a nice touch up in the arch of the entry gate.

This recently sold home ( which I suspect is a Comstock)

Sports a shop bell on the gate.

The most exotic bells

are the ones beside the door of “Twisted Oak”

“The Stewart House”

Combines lots of different bells hung from the clicker of a nautical bell.

“Sunwise Turn”

Sounds a bell when I twist this key

“No. 5 Casanova”

Has this neat gong

“The Major Coote House”is taking no chances 

With this nautical bell by the front door 

This one on the guest house

And this chiming one on the gate.

The Kuster-Meyer Home

Incorporates the bell into a vignette with a light and “spider”

And adds a knocker for good measure.

“Curtain Call”

Has this sweet trio of sleigh bells hanging from a heart-shaped hook.

I can’t stand it anymore. I must have my own bells. Surprisingly, they are quite hard to find. Everywhere I inquire, they sold their last bell a week ago.

I score my first bell in a Carmel Valley Feed store complete with the strap to hang it around my cow’s neck, should I acquire a cow.

I hound Chip and Kathy of Wittpenn’s Antiques

Wittpenn’s Antiques – Carmel, California – Welcome

Until they find these and bring them from home to the store. These go on my front gate.

Still I am not satisfied because I remember this wonderful bell at

A Great Place.

Now they are all three mine!!!

Oh, oh. Aslan’s Garden shop has these .Aslan’s Garden |

Maybe hanging on the fence?


Leave a Comment
  1. maurakeith / May 7 2012 1:17 am

    I love them! I need to find some cowbells for the farm and put them on the gate through the picket fence. I hope my fence aquires the beautiful patina of all these fences. Beautiful photo’s and I really appreciate you sharing your part of the world with us. One day maybe hubby and I will make our way over to California and go explore Carmel ourselves 🙂 Have a wonderful week!
    Maura 🙂

  2. Linda Floyd / May 7 2012 2:11 am

    GEE…they are all so charming…now I have to have bells! But it looks like you bought all the available ones in Carmel…I’m going to look for some European ones for Biddlestone Cottage! You may have started something…hope I can finish it!

  3. Annie Westlake, / May 7 2012 8:49 am

    Maybe if I get some bells, the Carmel cottage will follow. Worth a try!

    • Gretta Faun / May 7 2012 2:38 pm

      You might laugh. Two years ago I wished to go to Hawaii, but didn’t think it was possible. I bought plumeria scented candle and put it on a window shelf. Each time I looked at it, I thought of Hawaii. Year later I was in Oahu. Right before my trip, I stumbled upon Linda’s blog and got fascinated by Carmel. I thought that it would be fun to give that window shelf another try. After reading all the Linda’s posts, I chose the symbol that represented the Carmel for me: the bell. Then I saw red wooden reindeer in a store with the tiny metal bell on its neck, I knew what was it. I came back from Carmel last week…;0)

  4. Jacqui / May 7 2012 12:44 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post, how beautiful! I now want some bells!! Carmel is marvellous, thanks for sharing with us…

  5. Gretta Faun / May 7 2012 2:56 pm

    I was in Carmel only for one day, which was spent mostly in Point Lobos. Thanks to your blog, I already knew what I wanted to see in Carmel. I saw few fairytale houses, went to the beach and had early dinner at the Hog’s breath. Carmel surprised me. The nature surprised me. I never seen anything like that before. Fascinating. I need to go back at some point and spend few days there at the slow pace. Thank you, Linda. Your blog truly is one of a kind.

  6. Betty / May 11 2012 12:35 pm

    I find such great ideas in your posts and now here is another. I could really use a fairly loud bell on my front porch near the door as I live on a busy road with a fair amount of traffic noise. At present, visitors need to knock loudly on the door! Thank you for the idea, I will be looking out for one:) Lovely photos, as usual.
    Have a great week-end.

  7. Kassandra Multilock / May 9 2016 10:22 am

    harmony among people…!

  8. Annie Westlake / May 10 2016 12:14 am

    This is a favorite post. In fact, when it was first posted, I dutifully went to Carmel and bought some bells for my (still in planning stage in my mind) Carmel cottage. Once again, you have brightened an otherwise grey day. I hope you are thoroughly enjoying your new endeavors!

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