Niggle "Ornamental" Lathe - France
Beautifully restored by its current owner and engraved "Niggle - a Paris" immediately above and below a vernier scale - that indicated the swivel of the top slide - the very different Niggle lathe is difficult to categorise. The quality of construction and abundant use of bronze in its construction, points to a machine of high quality and considerable cost - and it does have a number of surviving accessories that might point to one of its uses as an ornamental turning lathe. It also appears that the headstock spindle is of the sliding type for chase screwcutting - the last picture on the page showing what appears to be a large collection of master threads and followers.
As each slide rest has a multitude of stops - and one tool-slide a lever action incorporated - the lathe might also have been intended for production use in a clock or similar factory. As most lathes of this type were driven by a round leather "gut" rope, the use of a substantial flat-belt pulley on the headstock also points to a lathe of heavier-than-usual duty.
While sliding-bed lathes are not uncommon, the Niggle uses a different approach, the headstock can be slide backwards and forwards to both open up a gap in the bed and also vary the distance between centres.