[Bell Historians] Manuel Vargas, bellfounder, Lima Peru, 1800's?

slobandito at y...
Fri Oct 18 21:33:57 BST 2002

Thank you for the outstanding reference. Very interesting. The Bl.
Junipero Serra did have some bells cast in San Blas, but I don't
believe many feel that most Alta California Mission bells were cast at
that facility. Again, thank you very much.

--- In bellhistorians at y..., "George Dawson" <George at d...> wrote:
> I quote from:
> That Vanishing Sound by L Elsinore Springer, p.15:
> Contrary to common belief that the bells along El Camino Real were cast
> mainly at the old armory in San Bias, Mexico, official references reveal
> that they were the products of numerous scattered founders and
> Taken as a whole, they prove somewhat more interesting than their
> counterparts throughout the Southwest, though their basic provenance is
> similar. By the time these others were being brought to California
the art
> of casting had become better defined. Not only were founders now signing
> their bells; several were earning a reputation for individual
styling and
> ornamentation of their work.
> Notable names appearing on California's mission bells include those of
> Manuel Vargas in Lima, Peru, who cast at least fourteen of them;
Paul Ruelas
> in Mexico City, who shipped about the same number; and Cervantes in
> Santiago, Chile, who sent very few that far.
> Vargas was considered the most literate and meticulous in his work,
and it
> is possible that he may have served his apprenticeship in Spain,
where the
> finest bell casting was done. Or possibly he apprenticed at the renowned
> bell foundry on La Calera farm near Santiago. Misspelled words and
> ornamentations are unknown over a Vargas signature. His larger bells are
> often characterized by a sizable diamond cross with an eight-petaled
> in each diamond. Nine of those he cast for California missions were
> accounted for in a single chime at San Juan Bautista. They ranged from a
> treble of one hundred pounds to a deep bass of several tons. Today few
> Vargas bells remain. Only three or four missions have even one. Santa
> Barbara owned two, dated 1818, among those recast.
> George Dawson
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <slobandito at y...>
> To: <bellhistorians at y...>
> Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 7:32 AM
> Subject: [Bell Historians] Manuel Vargas, bellfounder, Lima Peru,
> >
> > Does anyone here happen to know any information about a Mr. Manuel
> > Vargas who cast bells in Lima Peru from around 1815-1820?
> >
> > He cast several bells for the California Missions. Some of his bells
> > are still in use. I would love to learn more about this man.
> >
> > Thank you.

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