Cape Town, Groote Kerk Dutch Reformed Church
Grave, Jan Albert de
Mears & Stainbank (Firm)
Format Extent14 colour photographs
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Photographs and information on two bells of the Groote Kerk Dutch Reformed Church in Cape Town. There are two historical bells in the tower of this church. De Grave Bell: De Grave married the widow of Claude Fremy, Catharina ten Wege in 1699. She merged the foundry with that of Claes Noorden, a pupil of Hemony. When Noorden died in 1716 De Grave continued until his own death in 1729. De Grave was the last founder in the Netherlands who could properly tune a carillon. This bell is quite unique since it is one of the very few bells in existence by De Grave. Another bell by De Grave and Claes Noorden can be found in the Strooidak Kerk in Paarl. The bell replaced a first church bell of about 500 kg from an unknown founder that was installed around 1705 but fell in 1725. The bell was then recast by De Grave in 1726. The bell is slightly mutilated at the nose but still has a very fine tone. It has a clapper and is used as a ringing bell. For the decorations we find two moulding wires, followed by a Hemony band and again two moulding wires. Then follows the inscription band with the text JAN ALBERT DE GRAVE ME FECIT AMSTELDAM ANNO DOMINI 1726. Again moulding wires and a band with flower motives. Below this figures the VOC-emblem. There are more bells in South Africa that carry the VOC-emblem. See for example the Fremy-bell in the Cape Town Castle. Finally there are 5 moulding wires on the sound bow. Mears bell: This bell was originally cast in 1800 by Mears from London but there are three dates on the bell. This indicates that the bell was recast twice, in 1834 and again in 1962. The bell is corroded on the inside. For decorations we find THOMAS MEARS OF LONDON ME FECIT 1800 followed by moulding wires and a fish band. Then above the sound bow we find CAST BY THOMAS MEARS 1834 RECAST BY MEARS & STAINBANK 1962 then follows the founder’s seal and another 3 moulding wires on the sound bow.