Beautiful spinning wheels

I went to our local museum to take pics of two old wooden chests for an article, and found this:

Isn’t it beautiful? It’s from the beginning of the 20th century, made by an unknown, very skilled carpenter.

The distaff doesn’t belong to the wheel, but there may well have been one like that at one time. The flat, slightly curved distaffs where more common here, but distaffs formed like a thick staff or baton were also used. You can se some of the flat distaffs in the background:

The museum is closed in winter. It was indeed very cold inside, much warmer outdoors! The windows are covered so the sun won’t harm the textiles, but where temporarily uncovered so I could take pics.

There was also another wheel that was added to the museum’s collection recently. It was made for Beata Mårtensdotter Grind in 1889. This was a more common type of wheel in my municipality, where most spinning wheels were painted blue.

Three new lazy kates have also found their way into this amazing museum.

If you wonder whether I remembered to take photos of the wooden chests I can assure you: yes I did! But  I was close to forgetting why I had gone to the museum in the first place.


  1. Marilyn F.

    Absolutely beautiful wheels. You are so fortunate to have the opportunity to take these photos. Does anyone get the chance to actually sit down at them and test them out? Put a little wool on the bobbins?

    • Barbro Heikinmatti

      I don’t know if you can test them, I haven’t asked. I haven’t had the need to do it, there are so many Saxonys you actually can use. I have four antique Saxonys myself! But I’m confident the two I showed in this post would work fine. If they actually will be placed in a show room I may ask if I can “put a little wool on the bobbins”!

      • Marilyn F.

        It sounds like the museum keeps the best antique wheels they can to show, especially if you can tell just by looking that they would work fine. I am so glad you share your photos of them, as it is wonderful to see these fine examples of saxony wheels. Yes, I have 4 saxonys – all different in some way. I do like the style better than others. Thanks.

  2. Tanja Judson

    Hi, my boyfriend recently brought me an old finnish spinning wheel and i would have some queestions on some of the parts. Would you be able to help? Many thanks, Tanja

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