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Object Record

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Object ID # 1998.030.020
Object Name Swift
Title Squirrel Cage Swift
Lexicon category 4: T&E For Materials
Credit line Dorothy & Harry Kirk Collection of Spinning Wheels & Related Equipment
Date 19th-century
Artist Unknown
Made Unknown
Place of Origin Unknown
Description Darkly-finished, upright, free-standing, wooden "squirrel cage" swift. This item was No. 101 in the Kirk inventory (but didn't have a brass tag like others, just a sticker, which may be gone now). The dark finish is present all-over the swift. It might also be called a "Parlour Swift" by some collectors. There is no maker's identification. There are drilled holes along the uprights, and two wooden long pegs that can be withdrawn and re-inserted in order to pin the cage pieces at a selected position. It is a very lightweight item. There is a small wooden cup at the top, which functions as a rest for the yarn ball when the spinner is not using the swift.
Makers mark None
Provenance Provenance unknown.

Collected by Dorothy 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.

Acquired by Dorothy after Harry had passed away, as her inventory number is just a sticker (he used to make the brass inventory tags for her).
Collection Dorothy & Harry Kirk Collection
Material Wood/Finish/Metal
Found Owen Sound, Grey County
People Kirk, Dorothy
Function A swift is a spinner's accessory item, and it is used to unwind spun skeins so that the spinner can wind the yarn into a ball. This is a lightweight, freestanding one. There is a cup-like yarn ball rest at the top.