It is one of many drawings produced during Da Vinci's lifetime which depict technical innovations or inventions that Da Vinci believed could revolutionise the way things were done.
Like almost all of Da Vinci's technical drawings, there is no available evidence that shows that his design ever progressed beyond the drawing board into a physical, working device.
Spring device shares a common trope with many of Da Vinci's other technical drawings in that it shows a device which is built around a screw.
This is a theme common to many of Da Vinci's more celebrated technical sketches including the Aerial Screw (which has been interpreted by some 20th Century observers to have similarities to the modern helicopter) and his immensely complicated series of devices for moving water uphill.
The spring device drawing is notable as it straddles the boundary between Da Vinci's purely technical drawings and his plans for statues and other pieces of large artwork such as the Sforza Horse (which, like his technical drawings, failed to move beyond the sketch stage).
One can imagine the device depicted in the drawing sitting fairly comfortably in a museum alongside modern pieces of installation art. The device is pleasing to look at and features clean lines, it's obvious, even to a casual observer, that an artist has been involved in the design process rather than a dedicated engineer.
Unfortunately, there are few notes or close up details in Da Vinci's screw device drawing that give a particularly detailed analysis of how the device would actually have been used. This is a trope that is found in many of Da Vinci's drawings. Others however, such as the device for moving water uphill come with huge and detailed technical notes, cutaway drawings and other pieces of explanation.
It is of course possible that Da Vinci did make detailed notes on the workings of this particular device but that these have been lost to history and this sketch is the only part of the plans that remains intact today.
The spring device drawing is another example of Da Vinci relishing the intellectual challenge involved in creating a technical sketch of this type. As with so many of his other drawings, it is unlikely that actually creating a practical and working device figured particularly highly in the artist's thoughts when the sketch was being created.
Da Vinci's depiction of the spring device is an interesting addition to the collection of technical drawings that survive.
Whilst there is less to be learned from it than some of his other works due to the lack of technical notes, it is one of the few drawings that comfortably lies between Da Vinci's artistic works and his more technical drawings.
For that reason, an understanding of the sketch is an important part of any understanding of Da Vinci as an artist.