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What is it?

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I'm on a fb group for things found hidden in houses properties and such. Someone posted this and there haven't been any answers as to what it is. Couple guesses as to it maybe being part of a wagon or hitching system. Being a cool old hand forged piece, of course I'm curious.

Any guesses? 

Found in Southwest France at the property of a mid 1800's house and they believe the barn is around a hundred years older.  It is 16"/ 41cm long. Just to give a little perspective. 



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Given the size and that it is intended to be mounted on a pole or handle I would guess that it is something to be used for handling large pieces of lumber or logs, similar to a pickaroon or pike pole.  I believe it is too large for an artilleryman's slow match holder unless it was for a VERY large piece of siege artillery.  One final possibility is to go on the front of the tongue of an ox drawn wagon or cart.  I'm not familiar with the harness arrangements for draft oxen but they are larger than horses, so...

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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The object is not a pickeroon.

See,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cant_hook#/media/File:Peavey_(PSF).png

I use my pickeroon to hook out, off loading, pieces of cut logs, from the bed of a pick-up truck.

We used,  wicked looking,  pulp hooks to, initially,  place those log portions onto the truck.

It is, also,  not a peavey nor cant hook. (those are loggers' tools, used for ordering logs in a forming log boom, to float them down a river.)



Yes, this a commercial site but the notes and illustrated history are valuable and worth a look see.

Charles may, just be correct in suggesting that the tool might be a holder for a black match which put flame into a cannon's touch hole to set it off.



The lowest implement of his illustration is a linstock,  which served the same purpose.


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Yes, linstock!  I just couldn't get that dug out of my brain earlier.  I do think the object is not the head of a linstock because of its size unless it was for a very large piece of siege or fortress artillery, 32 pounder or larger.  Being found on a property with a barn in France Occam's Razor would suggest that it is agriculture related.

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The first thing that came to my mind was a tool used to adjust window shades for very large windows, or maybe a tool to open or close a transom window.  I remember seeing long poles with a metal end for one of those purposes when I was a wee lad in elementary school.  Then I bought one at a yard sale this past summer, just the metal end.  When its light, I'll take a picture.  In any case the curled looped end makes me think it was intended to somehow catch a cord or rope and the pointy end meant to manipulate something.

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Mr. Gazz,

I think that you might be on the right track.

I had a thought rattling in the deep dark recess of my mind, that would not come to the surface.

Your suggestion caused it to rise.

It might be situated  at the long end of a pole that is used to pull a 'basket' or chandelier from a height  that basket usually has candles in itThat basket is suspended on a long chain and is situated high up.

The pole pulls the basket down in order to light the candles, and then raise it again.

You will find them in Roman Catholic cathedrals, basilicas, and large churches.

The candles are lit for formal masses.

They are also used in High Anglican churches, (e.g. Oxford movement ones), and, also many Orthodox churches.

Then again, those tools usually have a candle snuffing cup- at the other end

So I may be incorrect.

Regards to all you iron bangers.

Have a happy, wonderful new year's eve and a great 2020.




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If it was used on chandeliers or candles the snuffer may have been a separate piece that has since been lost. I have seen snuffers that hung like a bell from a ring so that no matter the angle of the pole the snuffer would go straight down on the candle. 

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Gazz, that looks like a gaff. I don't know what it was used to move or catch but the round tips make it look like they didn't want to mar the finish or Maybe puncture something. It just occurred to me that I have seen something like that used for animal training in a circus but I don't know if that is what it is.


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Looks like a dibbing tool for planting seed to me.  

The socket end would be stomped in the soil. Then short rope was attached to the eye for tugging it up


pointy end was handle and often a slight kick was applied before tugging it up

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I believe you are correct Mcostello.  

Dibbles have a sort of pistol grip and a pointed poker similar to a swollen carrot for creating a hole in the ground for the seed or seedling.

I think to light duty for a boat hook.

A goad is the tool used for animal training / herding.  If I recall, elephant goads were some interesting looking tools.

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