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French Thumbscrew, 18th/19th C
Forged steel construction with two apertures to hold the thumb of each hand; sliding plate adjusted by a butterfly screw, pierced with a pair of holes to attach a lock to prevent its being loosened. Fixed eye on top for attachment of a chain. Though many variations of the thumbscrew exist, these would have been used both to cause pain and to restrain a prisoner in lieu of handcuffs. A very scarce item in good working order. For similar examples, see "Inquisition, a Bilingual Guide to the Exhibition of Torture Implements from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution", by Robert Held, Fig. 40/41. Specimens also found in the Kriminalmuseum, Rothenberg ob der Tauber in Germany and featured in the book "Criminal Justice Through the Ages", an English-language guide to the museum. Size 3 5/8" high by 2 7/8" wide by 7/8" thick.
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