Antique Bells

Bells were one of the first antiques Cherie George started collecting. Each bell has a unique story and look. 

BINGHAM COUNTY–The Eastern Idaho State Fair brought a lot of people together. Many people love seeing the animals while others love riding the rides. There is a wide range of people who prefer to peruse the antiques that have been brought in. Cherie George has been a collector of unique antiques. 

Her love of antiques stems from her time working at the Bonneville County Historical Museum. Cherie's boss showed her the finer antique items that would come in and their history, even giving some tips and tricks to ensure reproductions would not cross their desk. Cherie never imagined the collecting of antiques would find her, but it did in Ketchum. Each year they have a uniques fair and art show where people gather together and sell their unique collectible antiques. The antiques vendors come from all over the Northwest. It is a big hit for many people. It was at this Ketchum Antique art show that Cherie found her first bell. It was a little stand that had numerous bells from all over the world. "I loved how intricate the artwork was on these bells. They were tarnished but that is important in an antique. What I wasn't prepared for was the price. I absolutely was entranced and fell in love with antiquing and unique bells," says Cherie. 

Cherie and her husband have been snow birds for years and travel to Arizona, where there is a lot of antique shops to be found. One bell that came into her collection was found in the Mississippi valley. The Mississippi river flooded extensively in 1993. During cleanup the bell was found covered in muck. The man who found it cleaned it up and polished the bell. This bell is one of shinier bells in her collection.

Even her family finds joy in her collection. Her grandsons take the bells and line them up. "They all have a unique tone. They try and find the 'do' 'rey' 'me' tones. Even now when they are adults and graduated, they still play with the bells," Cherie smiles. Her husband has helped her find different antiques to add to her collection. On their 40 wedding anniversary, Cherie was given a Victorian mesh purse. She has been trying to figure out a good way to display these purses.

Bells are not the only antiques in her possession. Cherie collects glass lanterns and bottles that have a blue hew. "The problem with glass is it is really hard to know whether they are a reproduction or not. I think I will stick with my other antiques," Cherie laughs. She also collects miniature sewing machines. The little sewing machines were created as a way to teach young girls how to sew. It would either screw onto a desk or a table and the young girl would learn to sew by it. They are still in great condition and can even be used. 

Last year she wanted to put her bells in the Eastern Idaho State Fair but missed the submission date by a few days. This year she kept an eye out for the submission times. When she called the main office she found that it was the next day. She boxed up her bells and rushed them down to the fairgrounds. Everyone who she met was 'lovely' and 'fun' and enjoyed antiques. Just like shopping in Arizona with her group of friends, the people she met at the fair loved antiques and the history involved.

Cherie had so much fun submitting her bells into the Eastern Idaho State Fair and will definitely do it again. She loves Blackfoot and has found some antiques in the A to Z Pawn Shop. The history of each item has always been fascinating to her. As Cherie puts it, "the different things I want to collect comes in phases. Who knows what I may have by next year." 

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