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A type of French wheel, termed the Picardy wheel, has no treadle action. Louis Crommelin came to Ireland and endeavoured to introduce this form from his native Picardy. His contention was that by its use "a more evenly twisted yarn was produced; for if an entanglement of the flax occurred both hands were necessary to release it, thus the wheel of necessity stopped, while if a treadle motion were used the foot might still ply the treadle and overtwist the yarn. The Irish women refused to use this Picardy wheel."
The low Irish wheel, as it is called, is really the "Dutch wheel." It is also called the clock wheel. It was introduced into Ireland from Holland by Strafford. Collectors are usually interested in spinning-wheels which have an artistic appearance. This Irish wheel has always appealed to them. It was in vogue in the great days of flax spinning.
In consequence Irish spinning-wheels are prized. As Ireland held the first place in the three kingdoms in hand flax spinning, she takes the lead to-day in modern mechanical flax spinning in the world.
The Irish long wheel, the "muckle wheel " of Scotland, and the "great wheel" of Wales, may
be considered to be one type, not materially differing from the Asiatic wheels in mechanism. There is yet another Irish wheel called the "Castle wheel," probably from its shape; it is a type peculiar to Ireland (the title has no political significance). Its stout framework encasing the wheel gives it rigidity. It is used mainly in Antrim and Donegal for the spinning of wool, hand flax spinning having ceased.
The spinning-wheels used in the Highlands of Scotland are slightly smaller than the low Irish wheel and of Dutch type, possibly derived from Irish examples.
An English wheel for spinning flax is rare. Wheel-spinning in England was mostly confined to wool. These wheels, as in Dutch and German prototypes, employed the treadle action.
In France, Cambrai wheels are still used in making by hand yarns of finer texture than in spinning mills. The material used for cambric handkerchiefs and delicate linens is produced by this French hand spinning-wheel. It is advanced that the workers who are in humid cellars can by reason of this atmosphere produce fine
There is a series of twelve engravings done in 1791 by William Hincks, showing the various processes of linen manufacture in Ireland from the sowing of the flax to the exportation of the boxes and bales from the Linen Hall, Dublin.
These prints are reproduced in A Short History
of the English People, by J. R. Green (Illustrated Edition, 1893, vol. IV). Hincks was an Irish painter who came to London in 1780. Some of his portraits and miniatures were exhibited in the Academy. He did a series of illustrations for Tristram Shandy.
There are other types of spinning-wheels, from Saxony, Bavaria, the Black Forest, Wurtemberg, the Austrian Tyrol, Bohemia, Switzerland, and Hungary. Many of these wheels exhibit clever mechanical devices, and one noticeable feature is a separate distaff, which has three joints and can be taken apart. In height this is about five feet in some examples, and is attached to a separate tripod stool.
OLD FANS AND PLAYING CARDS
Italian, Spanish, and Dutch Fans
English Eighteenth-Century Fans
The Modern Fan
The Fan Mounts of Charles Conder
Modern Pictorial Cards