Did the bells have a tone like the tubular bells inside a grandfather clock? Then they could be the much-larger tower tubular bells.
Tubular bells may have been used in France as early as the mid-nineteenth century, but they were popularized by a John Harrington in England in the late nineteenth century. At the time, the tubular bells were used in both small and large applications, both grandfather clocks and towers, although today they are more familiar in grandfather clocks.
The J. C. Deagan company of Chicago manufactured hundreds of these instruments for the North American market, many of which still play today.