One interesting project I have received recently is a pair of Maple Indian Clubs dating from around 1900. Indian Clubs get their name from similar clubs (though much larger in size) used by wrestlers in India for strength training. They had there hay day as a tool for workout routines around the turn of the century. They were usually hollowed and filled with a weight (such as lead) to give them the proper weight. Indian Clubs also came in various sizes (and weights) to suit the various levels of the training programs. The iconic image that comes to mind when I think of Indian clubs is that of a man with a handlebar mustache twirling these clubs through the air. Not only did I find this image, but also that of a woman in Victorian dress spinning the clubs. I have to say that she doesn't look to happy about it either, although maybe she is just concentrating! below are the photos:
The clubs that I received were in pretty rough shape. they had been each used for hammering at various times. What is nice is that they have stayed together all of these years. They also had very little finish, some cracking, and paint splattered on them. Here is a photo of the clubs as they came to me.
After removing the finish and sanding the clubs, I filled the cracks and applied the finish. No staining was necessary since the Maple had oxidized to a nice golden color. Here is a photo of the clubs in transition.
These last two photos show the clubs restored. I left some of the wear to show the age and character of these clubs. Perhaps someday they may see some use again!
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