Found in the basement of a dealer trafficking in unusual objets d'art, I'm sure there's a fascinating story of how this was obtained originally, and what it really does...It does lead to mind the dharmacakra, which typically has the following meanings attributed to it depending on the number of spokes in the wheel:
8 spokes representing the Noble Eightfold Path.
12 spokes representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination.
24 spokes representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination and the Twelve Laws of Dependent Termination.
31 spokes representing 31 realms of existence (11 realms of desire, 16 realms of form and 4 realms of formlessness).
In Buddhism, parts of the Dharmacakra also representative of the following concepts:
Its overall shape is that of a circle, representing the perfection of the dharma teaching.
The hub stands for discipline, which is the essential core of meditation practice.
The rim, which holds the spokes, refers to mindfulness which holds everything together.
So, given the role and relationships of cogs, gears and wheels within steampunk literature, I wonder how it might change the ideas and perceptions of different concepts within buddhism, if it all. But that's a point of consideration for another time...