On the 2nd of June 1953 Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Westminster Abbey. To celebrate the occasion Gerry Ettinger created an apt memento, to commemorate the beginning of a new reign in Britain and the celebrations around it.
As the bells of St Margaret’s, Westminster announced to the peoples of the Commonwealth and Empire the Coronation of Her Majesty The Queen, “from the mighty spire of the Ottawa Parliament Building, a similar peal will announce to the Dominion of Canada that their Queen has ascended the Throne,” explained Gerry’s press release.
Coronation Bell advert from 1953
The makers of those two bells were Gillet & Johnston, one of Britain’s most famous bell foundries, whose bells can still be found throughout the United Kingdom, United States and Canada today. To commemorate the new era, the historical ceremony and the coronation celebrations, Gerry commissioned Gillet & Johnston to create small replicas of the large bells announcing the coronation. These small bells came to be known as Ettinger's Coronation Bells and were successfully sold to customers throughout 1953 by Ettinger.
As Gerry went on: “Bells at all times have been used to indicate nations’ feelings of joy and thanksgiving, of sorrow and hope. It is in this tradition that we offer this Souvenir to commemorate the opening of a new phase in history.”
The bell was placed in a presentation box inlayed with red velvet, which elegantly matched the Coronation colours, and the design received approval from the Council of Industrial Design of Great Britain.
Approval certificate from the Council of Industrial Design of Great Britain
Robert Ettinger, Gerry's eldest son and Ettinger’s CEO describes: “The bells were made from solid brass and contained metal taken from bells cast before or during the reign of Elizabeth I.” The bells sold for one guinea each, in today's money over £30. Ettinger sold thousands of bells in the United Kingdom and around the world. To celebrate the new Millennium in 2000, Robert commissioned a similar bell to be created, called the Millennium Bell, selling over a thousand pieces in the United Kingdom and globally.