The Australian “Bell” saddles were apparently made by the Pierce Bell Trading Company ( Sydney ), but sadly I haven’t found out much else about them on the web.
Apart from the one on my ’59 Conqueror loop frame, I have no real way of dating them.
It seems that the saddles were made from the early WW2 period to some time in the 1960s and were fitted to some Speedwell bikes, among others – and that’s about all I know.
I remember seeing these saddles in my childhood days, with the kangaroo image from the model ’12-40′ imprinted into my memory from some moment long ago.
They are nowhere near the construction quality of most Brooks saddles of the day and yet for me they remain desirable Australian cycling items…
I have a couple of types of the 12-40 roadster model – one with a single rail and the other with a double looped sprung rail much like the current Brooks B18 ‘Lady’ saddle.
The Model 80 fitted to my 1959 Conqueror ladies is even more like the Brooks as it has a similar leather flap on the saddle nose as well as a lovely floral design including what looks like wattle flowers.
Here’s a sportier ‘Model 70’ in a darker red-brown – roughly similar in shape to a Brooks B17 narrow :
This one below is a model 40 – it is in reasonable shape except that the tension bolt is almost at its limit.
Only two saddles here are badged at the rear, the Model 80 Lady’s – which has a metal relief and black paint, and a single tatty 12-40 with a blue coloured badge of flat metal.
It’s a shame that there is so little history available on these saddles – can anyone point me to a catalogue or some other resource on-line ?
See Ya !