Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Solved! Mystery Wooden Object Identified - Teaser.

"Make Way! Blow the trumpets!" The Mystery Wooden Object has been identified! Yes!

I've said before that I love mysteries, and I love them even more when they get solved. This one took over two years, which only makes it that much sweeter.

Back in July of 2008 I wrote a post about the Mystery Wooden Object and asked readers for help in identifying it. Some interesting ideas were bounced around, but there was no breakthrough.

Then, a couple of months ago my niece Kaija (of Kaija's Project fame) called me from the East Coast with the big news: she had a hard lead on the answer, in fact she was standing in front of a small pile of my Mystery Wooden Object's cousins!

Well, after talking to her and doing some additional research, I now know quite a bit about the MWO - which I will share in a future post.

I thought it might be fun to see if anyone wanted to take one last shot at identifying it. As an incentive, I'll send my spare copy of Making Authentic Craftsman Furniture to the first person who pegs it, or to whoever gets closest before I spill the beans.

Here are some newer shots to mull over:

And one of the prize:

Good luck! And one hint - forget about the East Coast connection. It's more than a bit of a red herring...


  1. Looks like something you'd make patterns in butter cakes with.

    just a guess.

  2. No idea, it looks like a sliding weight, for a stick or a stretched rope. The insert make me think it is weighted or callibrated but the top lacks any precise position marks

  3. I think it's a hanging weight. The square mortice is for a flat strap (leather?). The 'patch' conceals added lead to make it heavier. Use - something to do with maintaining working tension, to do with weaving/spinning or something else domestic with textiles.

  4. I have no idea, but wanted to post so I would be emailed updates...

    I was going to agree with butter print, but those handles are usually inline with the "print" and I can see no value in the mortise if that was it's use...

    Hmmmm, a MWO indeed....

  5. Dan,
    Looks kind of like a wooden block & tackle type thing but without the moving pulley/wheel. Possibly something from an old sailing ship? An interesting piece indeed.

  6. Looks like a cow bell. Maybe that darker square insert in the back holds the "bells" inside. Or an ornament to put around an animal's neck.

  7. I think it's a sheep or goat bell, although the goat might try to eat it.

    Or... one of those bells the Monks in Monty Python rang, singing "Bring Out Yer Dead!"

  8. Great guesses everyone! I'll let this ride for a little longer...

  9. My guess is it's either for hanging decorative ropes between multiple points, such as along the wall or to the gingerbread on the outside of your home. Or a window curtain tie.

  10. My deep brain tossed forward the vague memory of it having to do with old-timey curtains -- specifically, heavy curtain pulls. Dunno how that all fits together, though.


  11. Philip and Gye - Nice guesses!

    Everyone - I'm aiming to have the solution post up by the middle of next week. That gives you a few more days to take a shot at winning the prize!

  12. The Mystery Wooden Object is a tape dispenser.

    Paul Blacklock

  13. Okay my last try. Is it a weight for attaching to the end of a line so that you can through it? Like a monkeys fist, only a wooden one instead of a knot.

  14. And the winner is... Regis! Nice work! See the "Revealed" post to get the whole story.

    Email me your address Regis, and I will send you your prize.

    Thanks for guessing everyone!


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