The door bell set is of the exquisite “Roanoke ” pattern introduced by P. F. Corbin of New Britain, Connecticut in 1905. This copper/bronze colored pattern is a heavy-solid décor which is typical Victorian. Every piece whether it be a back plate, key escutcheon, or knob has the characteristic fan motif accentuated by leaves and beads. This door bell plate probably originally sat alongside a front door outfitted with a large back plate and knob of this same pattern.
This piece is very rare, not only in the age and pattern, but in the fact that we seldom acquire these Victorian door bells intact and in working order. The outside plate measures 4 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches. The large bell that mounts on the inside measures 3 1/2 inches round plus the mounting ears. It is marked “R & E Mfg. Co., New Britain, CT, USA.” On the base of the bell it says “Pat: March 14, 1899.” Therefore, Corbin must have added the plate to an older established bell.
This is truly an American antique of rare quality. It is ready to use. We will include bronze screws.