Have Ewe Any Wool?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Dream Wheel - "Shelly"


This is my dream wheel! My very first wheel was an antique, but was missing a couple of spokes as well as the distaff. I really wanted a truly antique wheel that was in tact. I finally found one that I love - and it arrived today! She's from the 1870's and is a signed wheel - "D.Shelly".

It only took me about 15 minutes to get her all unpacked and put together. The seller labeled the main connections for me...and there were no screws - just pegs. It's truly a work of art. It even has some "stabilizers" built in - none of my other wheels have these. The "stabilizers" connect the legs of the wheel to the wheel support.

I still have to take it for a formal "test drive", but first, I need to tie on a fresh leather strap to the footman. The original strap was dry rotted, so I only got a few treadles in before it broke apart, but in the small amount of treadling I did do, I was quite pleased with its smoothness and and ease of treadling.

I found some information on another site about D.Shelly - it appears that he was the crafter of my wheel! The photo of a wheel for sale is nearly an exact match to my wheel...but mine appears to have all the expected parts - including the beautiful cage distaff! D.Shelly stands for Daniel Shelly - a wood turner in Milford Township in Pennsylvania around 1807 to 1811. It lists him as a descendent of Abraham Shelly. Perhaps my wheel is older than 1870? Regardless of its exact age, I can now do a price comparison...and based on the information and the photo provided on this site, I got a fabulous deal on my wheel!

I also picked up this little piece of "wall art". It's a slide from a "Magic Lantern". These "projectors" were popular prior to the introduction of the slide projector and were originally developed centuries ago. The originals were powered by candles or oil lights, but the more "modern" versions run on electricity. Some additional information on these projectors can be found here: "Magic Lantern History". I'm not sure how old my slide is, but I just loved it - the "spinning mouse" is absolutely adorable!


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