I must confess this isn't my area of collecting, but if this is a postwar ceremonial bell the price shouldn't be extraordinarily high...
I've haven't had any luck -so far- in finding another to compare it with...Is the engraving translated?
This is what I have been told....but I know nothing about translating Japanese
Sho jyuukyuu, kyuu
Konoki butai Kanazawa tai
Kinoshita bunkentai kinsei
19th Year of Emperor Showa (1944), 9th Month (September)
Konoki Force, Kanazawa Group
Humbly Made by the Kinoshita Detachment
Konoki, Kanazawa, and Kinoshita are towns/cities in Japan...I fail to see the connection to the Imperial Navy that would prompt me to shell out a large sum of money...An actual ship's bell would be more desirable, in my view... I look forward to more opinions, especially from our Japanese-speaking members....
It is definitely hard to price this item or find more information. It seems as if there is a very limited amount of info on this about the information.
it looks to clean to be war time.thats my opinion.
I have to admit, I would side with Harry on this one. The engraving looks remarkably fresh-even with sealing, I would have thought that there would be unmistakable signs of the brass darkening at least inside the lettering over 69 years. I would really need bulletproof provenance for this bell before I would be okey spending significant money on it. If such exists, it would be a Very nice object for a collection.
"Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."
A lot of WW2 Japanese superior and sub-units were named after their commanders, which is most likely the case concerning the inscription on the bell. It is really hard to pinpoint units and their true nature due to command changes, etc. It might be possible to figure out the "force" unit from the bell, but that might be it. I cannot add anything to the condition of the bell and whether it is a fairly recent creation. I would go with what others have said with supporting evidence before purchasing. It would be fantastic to have a period pic. of the soldier actually souveniring the bell and pointing out the inscription in a follow up closeup pic., then it would be something well worth pursuing.
I really appreciate all of the advice. I agree that there are many things that play into this bell. I guess now I am leaning towards not purchasing it, but I'll have to dig a little deeper when I contact the seller next time. Lets say the story could be proven and this is authentic, what is a reasonable price range? I realize the price is what someone would pay for it, but is there some type of guideline. I can't find any anywhere else really that are for sale.
Just because there aren't many around does not make it valuable. I would tread lightly.