What is this rattan object?

Joan1058July 15, 2011

Can anyone identify the object pictured here?


It is approximately three feet long from its curved handle to the bottom of the ten-inch-diameter wheel. The wheel turns. We thought at first that it might be used for measuring carpet, but there are no figures on the wheel. Plus, its length would require that most adults bend down to keep the wheel in contact with the carpet. The object probably dates from the 1950s or 1960s, but it could be older.

I'll put another photo, a closeup, in the Optional Link URL field. I would be most grateful for any ideas that people might have. Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful:

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I don't have a clue. Without the handle, it would be a really big dream catcher.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 4:00AM
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It looks very similar to a medicine wheel or "sacred hoop" of an American Plains Indian. Though the personal fetish items would have been removed or else it was never finished.
The "handle" was made so that it could be suspended somewhere in the home.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 7:20PM
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Wow...sorry about that link. Here's the one I was trying to post.

Here is a link that might be useful: medicine wheel2

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 7:25PM
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Maybe the wheel off one of those cheap rattan wheelbarrows?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 3:54PM
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To me, it really looks like a measuring wheel. It wouldn't necessarily have to have markings on it. You could count revolutions by where the bindings are located. As for the length of it, back in the day, we weren't growing people quite as tall as we do now.

That being said, with a 10 inch diameter, that would put the circumference around 31.5 inches. The closest unit of measure I'm aware of to that is a hasta at 33 inches so don't know what good 31.5 inches would do ya. :-)

Maybe a farm implement. Roll it along in the dirt to make shallow seed troughs. ;-)

Quite the conversation piece.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 5:07PM
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I think it's a decorative doo-dad...like those rattan balls or the ones covered with seeds that people put in bowls.
Imagine 100 years from now someone coming across one of those styrofoam balls covered with feathers or seeds and wondering what use they had?

Here is a link that might be useful: useless rattan balls

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 9:20PM
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A child's push toy? The ratan would have been easy on indoor flooring compared to an metal wheeled toy - and quieter too.

Maybe its a part from a larger assemblege.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 2:24AM
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Many thanks to everyone who weighed in on my query. For some reason, I never was notified that my post had been answered, so I'm only finding everyone's contributions now, two months later! I have a strong feeling that lkgrace345 has hit the nail on the head with her July 16 message re the Native American medicine wheel. But it's great to have so many different suggestions. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 7:58AM
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