This is how little I know about spinning... an eagle-eyed reader commented that she's seen a spindle like mine in a machine in a spinning museum in Barrington, Nova Scotia. It may not even be a hand spindle - it may only be for machine use. I must confess, I was confused by the lack of little hooky thing...
(It was given to me by a friend who can't actually remember where she got it from, hence the possible confusion... )
Really terrific picture and story of the museum at this link.
Anyway, Denny will help me figure it all out, I'm sure.