Gear Heart

c. 1850
H: 12.5" Dia: 11.0"
Northern Elmwood
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Carved from a single block of elmwood, this unusual piece was once part of the central wheel shaft of a Qing-dynasty grain mill. Each slot once secured a peg of a large water wheel, which harnessed river currents to draw a millstone across grain harvests. A century of use has given the wood's raw texture a light patina, accentuating its expressive grain. Once a critical industrial mechanism, the piece now lives on as a sculptural side table or stool.

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