EARLY 19TH C BESOM ENGINE, via Ebay
Early nineteenth century blacksmith made besom engine or to use its more common name besom clamp. This was a tool that was used in the manufacture of besom brushes or using there more common name witches broomstick.This tool was used to clamp the birch twigs to the hazel handle.
There were two ways this tool could be used. One way was to secure the spiked end into the ground, place the twigs around the bottom end of the hazel handle and place into the jaws of the clamp. Then using your foot apply pressure on the clamp handle to close the jaws together and then you can bind the twigs onto the handle. Alternatively you could secure the clamp in a bench vice and repeat the process using your hand.
This is obviously a rare item and as such would make a wonderful piece for the collector of rural crafts.
A picture of my new baby. Sexy little beast, right?