The history of handbells

The first tuned handbells were developed by brothers Robert and William Cor in England, between 1696 and 1724. There are many different legends about the origins of handbells. It is thought that they were first used by change ringers so that they could practice outside their towers. In time, the sets grew and handbell ensembles were founded. There were even competitive events in England and each village had to have a set of bells.

Today there are handbell ensembles all over the world, most widely handbell music is spread in the United States, UK and Japan, where handbell players are united under different organizations (guilds), who in turn help to develop this beautiful art of making music further.

Handbell music tradition in Estonia is relatively young – the first set of bells arrived in 1993 thanks to Aivar Mäe, the conductor of the ARSIS Chamber Choir at that time.


Malmark Bellcraftsmen are one of the leading factories in the design, making and tuning handbells. Their handbells made of bronze are handcrafted. Handbells are usually produced in sets of 25, 37, 49, 61, 73, or 85 bells. Small sets can be expanded by adding bells. The large bass bells from C2-F#3 are also available.

Arsis is the official representative of Malmark Bellcraftsmen in Estonia.

We will help you find the best set from Malmark’s extensive product assortment.

Handbells also need to be regulalry polished and cleaned in order to preserve their sound and their beautiful appearance. We can help you with this, since we have the required polishing tools and competent workers!

In case of pricing, wishing to buy handbells or just questions, please feel free to contact us:

phone:+372 52 84 682 e-mail: info@arsis.ee