Hurdy Gurdy and its maker
This gentleman (I will find his details later and include them) makes Hurdy Gurdy's. He lives in Cygnet Tasmania. He also plays them and is involved in a Renaissance music troupe that plays music in and around Hobart. He said they take about 2 months to make and sell for $5000 Australian dollars. Nice man.
The hurdy gurdy (also known as a wheel fiddle) is a stringed musical instrument in which the strings are sounded by means of a rosined wheel which the strings of the instrument pass over. This wheel, turned with a crank, functions much like a violin bow, making the instrument essentially a mechanical violin. Melodies are played on a keyboard that presses tangents (small wedges, usually made of wood) against one or more of these strings to change their pitch. Like most other acoustic string instruments, it has a soundboard to make the vibration of the strings audible. The hurdy gurdy is generally thought to have originated from fiddles in either Western Europe or the Middle East some time prior to the eleventh century A.D.