Inside the Collection

Mystery object (multiple choice!)

Spinning top
Collection: Powerhouse Museum

In response to Jacqui’s winning suggestion from our 1st birthday competition, we’ve put together our first multiple choice mystery object post!

The object above is made of solid boxwood with a metal end and measures 44mm in height x 35mm in diameter. Is it…?

a) Part of a lace bobbin
b) Handle from a walking stick
c) Spinning top
d) Door knob
e) Decorative carving

Answer: (c) Spinning top

6 responses to “Mystery object (multiple choice!)

  • It is C, I defiantly believe its a Spinning top, with a string that’s wound on the bottom area and whipped to make it spin.

  • Agree totally with Craig, it is a spinning top, minus its string. Something tells me the string had a stick on one end of it to give a whip action, but not totally sure.

    Not sure about the string being in the bottom area though, think it would be around the grooves around the middle, so one “unwrap revolution” would spin it faster than one wrap around the bottom. I think. Hard to explain.

    Nice one. How about some Tippetts? Have you any of them in the collection?

  • Spinning top! It looks almost exactly like the ones I had as a child. The metal end is a dead giveaway. You wrapped these with string, held one end of the string and threw the top to the pavement, pulling the string at the same time so that it spun. If you did it right, it hit the pavement on the metal point and started to spin. Haven’t seem one in years. Boxwood is a much classier version, so I’m guessing it’s older than 1950s.

  • Well done Craig, Linda and Judith – it is ‘C’ (a spinning top) and Judith has provided a very nice little explanation! This particular spinning top was made by Lawrence Hargrave around 1860 and is reputed to have been the first object Hargrave made (his first actual experiment, though, was a pair of shoes for walking on water!). I have linked the answer in the post above to our object documentation record if you would like to read more.

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