19 November, 2011
Tiny Castle Spinning Wheel
Saw this tiny castle-style spinning wheel at the West End Antiques Mall, booth JWM, labeled "spinning wheel, as is." It's about one yard high, top to bottom. It must have been quite cute when it was new.
I have no idea what this part is for. I'm also not sure what the white finials are made from; I've never seen ornamentation like this before on a wheel.
I know from reading books that this bit of metal inset in the rim is meant to give the wheel more momentum than it would ordinarily get (being small), and thereby make it more efficient. I assume originally there were more pieces all around the wheel. You can see the footman behind the hub has split along the grain, damage that must have been inevitable given the nature of wood and the use this wheel probably saw. The treadle is in worn condition.
The flyer and bobbin are not set where they should be, which is understandable since one of the leather bearings is missing and therefore can't hold them anyway. But the function of the crosspiece they are set into is a bit of a mystery to me.