This is a set of 5 Robert Wells bells mounted in a belfry for use on a heavy horse or cart. We already have a number of 4 bell sets, but aset of 5 bells is something we had not seen before. Having bought them from that online auction site and arranged for a courier to collect & deliver them we have had the added bonus of finding they sound particularly nice. Many such set clang, but these have a very please high tone ring to them. Once we can open again they will be on display and you can visit to hear them.
The top is decorated with a leather surround with stars painted onto it. There are a couple of historic patches to the leather so it must have seen quite a bit of use.
Bell sets such as this served a purpose very similar to a lorrys “bleep bleep vehicle reversing” message, they made sure that everyone knew the horse and cart were there, though I imagine the carter must have got a bit fed up with them!