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German Scoldís Mask, with Provenance, 17th C
Unique ravenís beak design made of forged and riveted iron; featuring a skull cage of thick iron bars which fits over the top of the head. The face is of sheet iron with cut oval eyes and a large riveted beak open at the bottom. The mask secures with a chain that attaches under the chin. Metal surfaces with pitting and dark black-brown patina and patches of newer red rust. From the Steve Santini Collection, this exact piece is featured on the cover of his book, "The Catalog of Cruelty" and pictured and described on pages 151-152. The scoldís mask was widely used throughout much of medieval and Renaissance Europe and even in the American Colonies. It was used more to shame its wearer rather than to inflict pain, however, wearing one (often in conjunction with being locked in the stocks) could be extremely uncomfortable.