Burnham: Maker: The Bucks Diecasting Company Limited (Presumed), 1945. This Second World War “Victory Bell” features cameo portraits of British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin. The piece measures approximately 6 inches high with a bell diameter of 4.5 inches (15.24 and 11.43 cm). The bell is crudely cast and produces more of a clunk than a melodic chime. As Churchilliana specialist Douglas Hall stated, the appeal lies in the inscription around the foot – ‘CAST WITH METAL FROM GERMAN AIRCRAFT DESTROYED OVER BRITAIN 1939-1945 RAF BENEVOLENT FUND”.
According to Hall, these bells caught the public imagination in 1945. A ‘specially finished’ bell was presented to Churchill at the Battle of Britain Dinner in 1945. The RAF Benevolent Fund (of which WSC was president from its formation in 1919 until his death in 1965) organized production at a number of different foundries. Hence, there were multiple versions, with variations in shape. This version is the most graceful-looking, well-proportioned variation, featuring the most pronounced flare at the base of the bell, the longest handle, and the largest “V” (for victory, of course) thereon.
Each of these versions we have previously encountered has been identified by lettering cast inside the bell – “THE BUCKS DIECASTING CO LTD BURNHAM”. This particular copy lacks this interior casting. This is a good example, particularly given that this was crudely cast from the start. The metal shows various small, superficial scuffs and overall soiling, but is whole and original.
Reference: Hall, p.175. Item #007286