This photograph, probably a tintype, was taken in Wales in 1885 by a traveling photographer.
The dear lady, in her traditional Welsh lady's headgear, is clearly fond of pattern in her personal attire.
The spinning wheel is interesting in that the only "fine" part of it is the drive wheel, itself; the rest of the wheel is quite rough-hewn. This makes sense as legs can get broken or wet and rotted, the tension mechanism can become worn, and the spindle mount can wear out. All can be easily replaced by any fairly competent wood-worker. But the drive wheel--the hub, the rim, and the spokes are a very different matter; they require a skilled woodworker to produce. If a move is necessary, all one needs do is bring along the drive wheel and spindle; the rest can be produced on the spot later.
The wool is also interesting. It is clearly mill-produced rolags. See the unspun rolag hanging from her left hand and the ropey bundle on the handle of the tensioner? Those are rolags that could only have been produced by a mill. See my previous entry addressing wool mills here. Although that discussion addresses wool mills in the US, the situation in the UK at the time would have been very similar.
I don't know how many times I've watched this video, but each time I do, it continues to enchant me.
Note how fine she spins the brown wool on her support spindle and with what care. Note also her technique for winding on, starting at 2:40--after spinning and winding a goodly length, she unwinds it, butterflying it onto her hand, then rewinds it onto the cop.
This is the video that started the popularity of Tibetan-style support spindles a couple of years ago. I know that many of you have already seen it, but I felt a need to include it in these pages after watching it this morning for the umpteenth time.