It does happen occasionally and that's what a picker anticipates happening more often than not; that one really cool and unique find. Not only unique but at the most unexpected moment, time and place.
I wasn't out picking at this moment but a picker is never off duty. Your eyes and ears are always scanning the territory. As I glanced off to the side in a pile of rubble, I spotted what seemed to be part of a wood wagon wheel. I asked the gentleman who was the owner if that was what I thought it was and cared if I looked at it in efforts to purchase it from him. He said, "Sure, let me help you uncover it. It's actually some sort of game wheel."
Right then, my curiosity grew. When all the debris was removed, there it laid face down. It's 58" diameter entailed a wooded 8" wide frame on the outer rim of the wheel held together at parts with horse shoes. When we lifted it up to reveal the face it became that moment when you heard the angelic choir singing and the area in which we were became full of light and glory.
Sure enough, it was an old wagon wheel converted into a giant casino wheel. Hand painted numbers, old clothes pins for flicker stops (most of which are missing) and the most detailed part.... those small round and diamond shaped mirrors! The backside has horse shoes mounted to it....I'm assuming these may have been used for counter weights to determine the outcome of the spin or simply to keep it in balance.
"It was brought back from Charolette, NC on top of my SUV a couple years ago and I didn't know what I was going to do with it."
He knew I was in love with it and he saw it on my face. A picker should never reveal that look, because it always increases the value to the current owner, but this one took me. I wasn't going to be afraid to pay what he may require of it. An offer was made, so let's leave it at that. ;)
Antique carnival game spin wheels continue to hold value as of today. But when you find a one-of-a-kind handmade wheel from a wagon wheel like this.... these were not manufactured. This one was made specifically for someone in general. I classify it even as folk art.
I will never see another one like this much less in any better condition.
Enjoy the pics, thats pretty much all I have to enjoy of it myself. It will most likely be gone after this Friday. A local is coming in with an offer to purchase.
Move On - Pick On!
SOLD! Sept 2017