The Art of The Collection—Victorian Indian Clubs

The Art of The Collection continues—as we share the collection of Victorian Indian Clubs from Rooster Ridge! Most often we are asked if we are fans of bowling—an inquiry born from the curiosity of why we display wooden pins on the landing of the staircase.

Just for fun—this photograph was taken of ten of the Victorian Indian Clubs in the official-bowling-pin-positions. Yet, we must report these pins are not awaiting the arrival of a large ball that is rolling towards them!

If your assumption is that these are bowling-pins, well—we simply say, “Strike!”

A clue for you—

The Victorian Indian Club is a piece of  exercise equipment.

From Wikipedia; Indian Clubs were exceptionally popular during the health craze of the Victorian Era used by military cadets and well-heeled ladies alike, and even appeared as a gymnastic event in the 1904 and 1932 Olympics. Gymnasiums were built just to cater to club exercise groups. The popularity of the Indian Club waned in the 1920s and 1930s as organized sports became more popular. Regimented exercise routines, like those requiring Indian clubs, were relegated to professional athletes and the military, who had access to more effective and modern strength training equipment.

Although strength training is a healthy and worthy endeavor our appreciation of The Indian Club rests in the art of these pins. We love many aspects of these Victorian Indian Clubs—the beautiful wood that was used to create these pins is just one of them.

We enjoy the rich patina that has been created from the lifting, dropping, swinging and tossing that these clubs have endured. One can imagine the resonating echos of the multitudes of hands which have held them—for over a century.

The simplicity of this sculptured form—the graceful lines growing into the bulbous lower portion and the seemingly whimsical top button—captivate our attention.

We recently discovered a first for our collection—a mechanical Indian Club—Patented March 2, 1897.

This new design (of the day) has a steel rod inserted into the center of the pin, which can be released with the set-screw.

By extending the rod  to various lengths the leverage drastically changes—increasing the resistance and subsequently the difficulty to lift, swing and rotate the club. The rod is adjustable creating multiple successions of difficulty!

At Rooster Ridge we love the artistic display of these Vintage Victorian Indian Clubs, the tribute to history and the subsequent walk with the past—adding an additional healthy aspect to strength training!

Art Lives!



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