A wonderful thingamajig or possibly a late 19th century whatchamacallit? In order to sound like we know what it is - let's call it a transverse rotary dual-drive assembly...oh, and it's a lovely shade of faded red and green!
In the days of belt driven machinery, both industrial and agricultural, an item such as this could be used to extend the distance of a belt system, acting as a repeater station as such. Alternatively it could change the direction or angle of drive - for example, where a horizontal belt attached to one wheel that then powered a vertical belt on the other. As one wheel is smaller than the other it could also be used to 'gear-up' or 'gear-down' a belt drive.
With a little attention this could likely still be employed in these and other ways by a steam or static engine entusiast. Alternatively it makes a great static display for the home, garden or retail outlet.
Great colours, beautifully aged and quite stylish in its own way...
Drive wheel diameters: 30.5cm and 25.4cm (12" and 10")