Former farmers agree on fencing frame core

This has been identified as the frame core that barbed wire is coiled on when purchased.

Courtesy of John Sikorski
Published: Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 3:02 p.m.

Q: The wire frame photo is at the center of a role of barbed wire. The wire was purchased wrapped around the center, between the loops on the bottom and top of the picture. A pole was inserted through the small circle in the middle of the top and bottom of the frame. A person or persons grabbed the pole at each end to make unwinding of the barbed wire easier. Courtesy of a former Iowa farm boy who made lots of fence.

— G.H., Internet

A: I am glad you answered the question with a description of how it works. Based on the number of correct answers, there are a lot of former farmer readers of this column.

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Q: I am sure that I won't be the first to identify the rusted frame item that a reader sent a picture of to be identified. Anyone who has done some farm fencing will recognize it right away as the frame core that barbed wire is coiled on when purchased.

— J.S., Wacahoota

A: You are correct. There were a number of one-sentence answers correctly identifying the frame. Thanks to all who responded.

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Q: I heard you this morning talking about the twisted wire, but had not opened the paper. I usually read it at night. Not knowing the thickness of the wire, to me it looks like a badly twisted, handle-less rug beater. Or, it could be the Sikorski version of the Rorschach test, and you are going to interpret the responses!

— B.B., Oak Hammock

A: I had no idea when I saw the photo of what it could be, so I relied on the readers. They came through with the answer.

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Q: I hope you can give me some information on the cabinet in these photographs. It was purchased by my grandfather at an estate sale in New York. He died in June 1924, so as of this writing it is at least 90 years old. We think it may have been an antique when he bought it, as that was his hobby.

The cabinet is 49 inches tall by 23 inches wide, and the wood is bird's eye maple. The top section is attached to the bottom with wooden pegs. The drawers and dividers are removable. Interestingly, 331/3 rpm records fit perfectly in the bottom section, but the piece long predates its manufacture.

We would welcome anything you can tell us about this piece, including what it was called and what it was used for. The value would be useful, too, but mainly for insurance purposes, as it is treasured by our family for its beauty and its history. Thank you for your help!

— A.B., Internet

A: The bird's eye maple veneer is beautiful. The overall style is Oriental, and it was likely made in Europe. The 331/3 rpm record came on the market in 1948, so it is possible your attractive cabinet was made a bit earlier. Based on your photographs, I think it was made after World War I. Currently, potential dollar value is low due to a lack of interest in the style.

John Sikorski is an Ocala antiques dealer. He hosts a call-in radio show, "Sikorski's Attic,'' on WUFT-FM (89.1 FM). It can be heard each Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. Send your questions to Sikorski's Attic, c/o The Ocala Star-Banner, 2121 SW 19th Ave. Road, Ocala, FL 34471-7752, or email

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