Antique Brass 1800's Clockwork Roasting Bottle Jack Key Wind Cast Iron Wheel

Here is what was explained to us as a meat roasting piece, for a joint of meat or large bird (thank you to the ebayer who let us know). It was used in front of a fire, the meat on a dangle spit, the hooks on the wheel were for holding pieces of fat for basting, it would run for one or two hours depending on the weight of the meat - not tested so we do not know if it works completely or accurately, it is supposed to rotate three times in one direction and then reverse. The key winds whatever is inside the brass cylinder, and that is working, but we can not figure out what it does or is supposed to do. The brass area measures about 5" x 3 1/2" in diameter. The whole unit is about 15" long, the wheel is 6 1/2" in diameter. There is some wear, some rust, and some dents in the brass .

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