This is a very handsome bell, called a “Jahrhundertglocke” (Hundred-Year-Bell). Made of tin, it is elaborately decorated with high-relief decorations, symbols, slogans and sentiments celebrating a unified Germany entering the 20th Century. Its handle is a “Kaiserkrone” (Emperor’s Crown), another term for the Hohenzollern Crown. Its front features a gold-toned, extra-high-relief “1900” superimposed on a starburst ray pattern. The epigram “SEGEN DEINEM HAUS BEDEUTE FRIEDE SEI IHRERST GELAUTE” (Its Chiming Blesses Your House with Peace) encircles the date. Crossed torches, an overflowing cornucopia, an hourglass, laurel and oak leaves, and decorative curlicues surround the central motif.
The other side features four hands clasped together in a cross with the North, South, East, and West compass points indicated by each cuffed wrist. Another slogan surrounds this image, “Vom neuen Saeculo gesandt bring Glück Dir einig Deutches Land” (The Transmission from the New Century brings Luck to you, united Germany). A crowned Imperial Eagle is depicted below the hands, with a phrase that echoes the one above it: “Seid einig – einig – einig!” (Are united – united – united)!
Finally, three short Latin phrases are placed around the bell’s bottom, separated by small floral motifs. They are “MORTUOS PLANGO/FULGURA FRANGO/VIVOS VOCO” (Mourn the Dead/Shatter the Lightning/Call the Living). The bell’s interior is plain, except for its original clapper and the inscription “DRGM 1717.” DRGM stands for “Deutsches Reich Gebrauchmuster” (German Empire Registered Design), in other words, it is a patent number.
The bell stands 5″ tall, and measures 3 ½” in diameter at the bottom. The bell still produces a pleasantly mellow chime.