There are approximately 1000 bells of various origin, history, age, form and material in the private collection of Valdis Jākobsons. Since June 2014, this collection is put on display in the renovated premises of the stable / cart-house of the Blankenfelde Manor.
Groups are kindly asked to arrange the visit to the bell museum in advance by phone +371 27810348.
Valdis Jākobsons bought his first bell already in 1978 in the West-German city of Cologne, in a Sunday bazaar for exactly 10 German marks. He couldn’t imagine at that time that this would be the beginning for a massive collection, and that the bells would become such a big and long lasting passion. The colleagues, who were with him that sunny Sunday in Cologne, made a good effort to prevent Valdis from such, in their opinion, an unthoughtful, in their opinion, step and from unnecessary waste of money. In that time, 10 German marks was a pretty big amount for a Soviet man, for example, one could buy a big hamburger and a pint of proper German beer for 10 marks, but the choice in favor of bell instead of beer became a bigger idea. From that time on, some time and money was spared for the acquisition of bells, and this passion has led to a varied and striking collection.
The collection of Valdis Jākobsons now comprises bells of different sizes and shapes, made out of metal, porcelain, ceramics and glass, both ancient bells whose exact age is impossible to detect, and bells made for a particular event. The collection comprises stylish figural bells, as well as doorbells, table bells and wind bells, there are sleighbells, gongs, chandeliers, and even a beer goblet, equipped with a little bell for letting know that the goblet should be filled immediately. Each of the bells has it’s own story, sometimes very funny, of getting to Blankenfelde. Part of the „life stories of the bells” can be learned during the visit to the exposition, because the origin of each bell is accurately documented. And, with some luck, you might be able to hear them from the owner of the broad collection and passionate bell collector Valdis Jākobsons himself.
Come to visit to the Blankenfelde Manor to see the private collection of bells of Valdis Jākobsons – and the best gift for the expansion of the exhibition would be a bell with a unique life story! See you in Blankenfelde!
Large part of the bells have been purchased in various countries, when going on business tripsand on foreign visits, accompanying the State President of that time, Mrs. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, as part of the business delegation, s well as during recreational trips when more time could be dedicated to the procurement of bells. In the collection, there are exhibits from such faraway and exotic countries as Japan, Guatemala, China, Korea, India, Tibet, Australia, Mexico, as well as precious discoveries from different antique shops, flea markets and souvenir shops of different European countries.
Some of the bells are unique and released in very small numbers, for example, the memorial bell of 120 years of factory Liepājas Metalurgs, the bell donated by Lithuanian government, the bell recasted from the Lenin monuments in Liepāja as well as many others. Part of the collection are gifts from friends, e. g. very valuable is the acquisition from Prof. Jānis Stradiņš – the table bell of his father, Prof. Pauls Stradiņš. Worth of a special attention is the bell from Ukrainian medicine dealer Vladimirs Krivozubovs in the form of teapot. The owner of the bell collection and of the Blankenfelde Manor Valdis Jākobsons himself adds: „I could continue this list on several pages, but I hope that other givers of the beautiful and special bells, including my family members, won’t take offence for not being personally mentioned here”.