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Primitive Flax Hatchel or Heckling Comb from late 1700s


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This is an interesting example of an antique Flax Comb or Hatchel. It is used in converting flax to linen. It is a fascinating process. A lot of the information here comes from this Wikipedia article


The combing of flax by hand declined in the early 1800s, so this one was probably made sometime in the 1700s. It is constructed of wood with hand forged nails driven through a tin plate. There are reinforcing rods on either end to keep the wood from splitting. On one side, the teeth are spaced at about 4 per square inch. On the other, there are about 8 per square inch. This means this comb would have been used fairly early in the process. There is a piece of tow rope embedded in the nails on one side, and some bits of tow in the bottom of the other. We have left the item just "as found" including the rope, some dust and a few cobwebs. 


For the age, we consider this to be in excellent condition. Some of the nails are slightly bent, and of course everything is somewhat rusty and dusty. However, everything is very solid and you could probably even use it if you wanted to. Includes a nice wooden cover that fits snugly for transport. 


Beautiful piece of history to collect or perhaps even use!



  • Model: Antique741-FlaxCombHackle-1780Ex
  • 0 Units in Stock

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