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Object Record

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Object ID # 1998.030.012
Object Name Wheel, Spinning
Title The Turkish Wheel
Lexicon category 4: T&E For Materials
Credit line Dorothy & Harry Kirk Collection of Spinning Wheels & Related Equipment
Date 19th-century?
Artist Unidentified
Made Unknown
Place of Origin Anatolia, Turkey
Description Type: Accelerated wheel drive
Style: Horizontal hand turned accelerated wheel
Traditional wheel from Anatolia, Turkey. The wheel is hand operated. It has a distaff and extra bobbins. There are three turned legs. There are two wheels in its design. One wheel is 19 cm in diameter. It has an iron, curved, turning handle, which has a wooden grip to it. The wheel is wooden (appears to be a turned wooden disc) that has two circular rings of perforations. The wheel is grooved for the pulley cord. Two inclined turned pieces support a larger wheel that is 26 cm in diameter. It is similar to the other one, but has two grooves for the pulley cord as well as one groove for the driving cord. The larger wheel is slightly darker in its finish compared to the smaller one. The height at the top of the larger wheel is 48.5 cm. There are two separate drive cords used on the piece. A wooden base, underneath the uprights holding the smallest wheel, has scored line decoration. The two wheels have numerous circular perforations. It is unknown whether this is a stylistic feature or functionally helped to lessen the weight of the wheels. The one-legged end has a turned upright that supports the distaff. The distaff pieces can be disassembled easily. When the distaff is up, the height is 73 cm. The table of the wheel is on a slight incline. It is made out of a thick piece of cut-out wood that is 4.6 cm thick. Underneath is an adhesive paper label affixed with the name "Doreen Hamilton Howey" on it. There are tension knobs at each end. These knobs are turned wood. One adjusts the smaller wheel's position, while the other (under the distaff) adjusts the position of the maidens. The maidens are turned pieces tenoned into a turned mother-of-all. The flyer is wooden with brass guide hooks. There are scored lines near the hooks. Pieces of dark leather and plain wooden shims are used to hold the flyer in place. The flyer looks much more angular than European flyers do. The bent wire hooks are on both arms. The bends of the wire are visible on the other side of the arm. There are diagonal grooves (wear) near the hooks. There is a metal spindle. Harriet Boon (Master Spinner) told staff that this spinning wheel is a wool wheel and has a small orifice and a small bobbin, which makes for a firm yarn. The distaff matches the rest of the spinning wheel. The spinner's work posture would be sitting on the ground, turning the wheel with one hand, while drawing the fibre with the other. The iron crank has a curved shank.
A flyer wheels operating as an accelerating wheel. The twist ratio is high. Two drive wheels provide gearing similar to Charkha or American chair wheels. The tension screw is similar to traditional European double belted wheels. Hand crank turns smaller wheel (19cm) which has a direct pulley belt to a whorl on the larger wheel (28cm). This accelerated system produces a high ration (23:1) producing a firm / high twist yarn. Existing distaff is incomplete (needs finial). Tension threaded screw at head adjusts to mother of all while the rear tension knob adjusts the smaller wheel placement - thereby adjusting belt tension. Righ hand turns wheels, left hand draws fibres.

Makers mark None
Provenance Dorothy Kirk told museum staff (c. 1996) that she had recently obtained this "old" Turkish hand wheel and that it dates to the 19th century. The name "Doreen Hamilton Howey" is present on the underside, suggesting a previous 20th-century (Canadian) owner. A student of Mrs. Kirk's, Harriet Boon, said that for many years, this spinning wheel was displayed in a store window in a carpet or rug store in Toronto (near the bus station) and that Mrs. Kirk considered it a very good "coup" to finally obtain it for her collection, as she had long coveted it.

Provenance unknown.

Collected by Dorothy and Harry Kirk, of Owen Sound, Grey County, who lived in Grey County and Toronto during their lifetimes, and who had family roots in Grey County. They purchased (sometime internationally) and restored many old and contemporary spinning wheels and related equipment, often purchasing them from Ontario antique stores. Mrs. Kirk was a master spinner / weaver.
Collection Dorothy & Harry Kirk Collection
Material Wood/Finish/Metal/Leather/Cord/Wire
Dimensions H-73 L-95 cm
Found Owen Sound, Grey County
People Kirk, Dorothy
Subjects Spinning apparatus
Function The spinner's work posture would be sitting on the ground, turning the wheel with one hand, while drawing the fibre with the other.