City Centre, Iziko Museum
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The Iziko Museum houses four ship bells and pieces of a fifth. 1. The most important bell that is on display is the bell that is thought to belong to the VOC-ship Brederode. The ship dates from 1644 and was shipwrecked at Cape Agulhas on May 3, 1785. More information on the ship and its faith can be found in the Grobbelaar-monograph. According to Grobbelaar, the wreck of the ship was discovered in 1981. Moreover, the ship bell and pieces of porcelain were identified as belonging to the ship. The bell is very well made. Unfortunately, we have not been able to record any inscriptions. The number of moulding wires however is exceedingly large. We find four sequences on the shoulder (3-2-1-2), eight more above the sound bow and a final three at the lip. Given the age of the ship, it should not be impossible that also the bell dates from the same period. The fact that the bell is made of bronze and not of copper makes this even more probable. If this is the case then the bell would be among the oldest bells found so far in the country. 2. In the storage rooms of the museum are more bells. The smallest used to belong to a ship with the name Hermes and has been cast in Liverpool in 1899. Looking at the moderate size of the bell we expect that also the ship was rather small. 3. A larger bell that is also not in display used to belong to the Sir Henry Pottinger. There are more ships carrying this name. One of them is mentioned in a sailing announcement of 25 February 1846. Pottinger was Lieutenant General and became the first Governor of Hong Kong. 4. The largest of the bells also not on display belonged to the troop carrier Abercrombie Robinson ship which was launched on 12 November 1825. According to acquired information the bell used to belong to a church in Caledon. The ship wrecked on 27 May 1842 on Salt River Beach.