November 19, 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.


  1. I just purchased and still waiting for it to arrive, a little wheel similar to yours here, it is fascinating and mysterious. I bought it for my daughter who has been hankering me to spin on my wheel, thing is..I need to spin too))...this size would be perfect for her(9yrs) its possible the size is deliberately for young girls with spinning mothers or I have read also an advert putting way-wards on spinning wheels to stop frivolous restless behaviours I have no clue who made it, but was bought over from England to Australia. Spin me an email(pardon the pun) if you ever find out what that thing is for))

    1. wow, thanks, Veronica!

      Just to clarify, the photos are from a spinning wheel that I saw in a shop. I don't own it.


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