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Antique Doorbells servant’s bell

Don’t be deceived by this doorbell’s wonderfully antique appearance

Antique Doorbells servant’s bell

April 04 2010
Jonathan Margolis

I was at a serious audiophile’s home in Kent the other day checking out his whole-house server set-up and talking techie when someone rang at the door. It sounded as if we’d been transported to Upstairs, Downstairs and Gordon Jackson playing the butler was being summoned by a visitor. And up on the wall by the door was this wonderfully antique doorbell arrangement, looking for all the world as if it had been there since 1880.

But it was, as I discovered, a brand-new doorbell, from a Ludlow company, Antique Doorbells. This battery version of its servant’s bell is available in oak stain or untreated. It’s a bit Heath Robinson, obviously, but meant to be, with a brass wire attached to a little electric motor in a wooden block, which whirrs round and shakes the brass bell. And they say Britain no longer takes the lead in technology.