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Early 19th Century Heckle for "Anything Obscure" - goes with your flax breaker

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    Posted 4 years ago

    UncleRon
    (41 items)

    I just came across Anything Obscure's post of a flax breaker which he called a "hemper." I thought he might like this associated tool, an unusual Round hetchel (Pa. Dutch), or "heckle," a.k.a "flax comb" (most are rectangular) ca. 1800. This one is probably European. The head is six inches in diameter and the spikes are about 3 3/4" long. In use it would have been fastened on a bench, through a hole, using the ram's horn nut on the bottom of the bench and the wooden plate seen in pic #4 as a washer.

    From the Online Etymological Dictionary:
    heckle (v.): early 14c., "to comb (flax or hemp) with a heckle;" from heckle (n.) or from related Middle Dutch hekelen. Figurative meaning "to question severely in a bid to uncover weakness" is from late 18c. "Long applied in Scotland to the public questioning of parliamentary candidates" [OED]. Presumably from a metaphor of rough treatment, but also compare hatchel "to harass" (1800), which may be a variant of hazel, the name of the plant that furnished switches for whippings. Related: Heckled; heckling.

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    Comments

    1. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 4 years ago
      THANK YOU, UncleRon!! Indeed, that's a most interesting tool, which would seem like a natural companion to my old machine. (whatever it is actually called?) CRAP...now *one more thing* I don't already have that I'll need to keep an eye out for...? ;-) :-) :-)
    2. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 4 years ago
      If mama ever told you life was going to be easy, - I'm here to tell you that she lied to you. LOL !
    3. Toyrebel Toyrebel, 4 years ago
      Can it be used as a hair brush?
    4. Karl-Fodor, 4 years ago
      https://hu.museum-digital.de/portal/singleimage.php?objektnum=27229&imagenr=37754

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