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David Davidson





Joined: 21 Apr 2013

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri 26 Apr, 2013 4:08 pm    Post subject: Macabre & Torture Instruments from Medieval Times         Reply with quote

Is anyone here also really fascinated at the more macabre things from the Medieval times, such as the old torture devices etc? Some of these things are so sick and it's hard to put your head around them actually happening. I saw a documentary about Vlad the Impaler (who Dracula is based on) and it showed how he used impale entire towns. Does anyone else find these things fascinating or even collect any? I think my prime sword if I can find one would be a good condition Executioners Sword.

Managed to win something cheap on eBay recently because it does not have a good provenance. It is old but there's no real telling from when this dates back from. It's an old spiked punishment collar which I thought was pretty cool (pre 19th century).



But also looking around found some other awesome items, but regrettably out of price range. There's a bit of a premium because they have a great provenance.

Thumbscrew Ex. Nuremberg $4k

http://www.artancient.net/servlet/the-1525/To...ale/Detail

Black Death - Newgate Jail Cross $3k

http://www.artancient.net/servlet/the-598/bla...for/Detail

I would love to see any collections if anyone has any.
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Fri 26 Apr, 2013 11:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David,

That spiked collar is a modern reproduction - if it was sold to you as a pre-19thC object, then whoever did so was being less than honest......

For an excellent (well researched and illustrated) book on instruments of torture, I would recommend Mark P Donnelly's 'Big Book of Pain'. That should give you a better idea of what original artifacts looked like, how they were constructed etc.

I have made many such objects over the years - here's a 'halsgeige' (shrew's fiddle) and a noisemaker's fife I made a while ago.....man's ingenuity knew no bounds when it came to inflicting pain on his fellow man (or woman!).

I have a long-running ambition to make a 'Pear of Anguish' for the collection......

Julian



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Fife 3.JPG


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Fiddle 1.JPG


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Fiddle 9.JPG

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David Davidson





Joined: 21 Apr 2013

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 2:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julian Reynolds wrote:

That spiked collar is a modern reproduction - if it was sold to you as a pre-19thC object, then whoever did so was being less than honest......

Thanks for you reply. I thought there might have been a few people on the forums that saw the listing on eBay and I knew it was not genuine but for the price very happy with it. Description just had 'A 16th Century style Iron spiked punishment collar, dating to the 19th Century.' so knew it could have been anything. But when I questioned the seller over it, they did say it could have been earlier than 19th. I'm still not phased though for only $100.

Thanks for the book suggestion, I will have to check that out on Amazon and likely do a purchase. And what you've made is awesome, you should definitely work towards the Pear of Anguish considering it's one of the worst of them all.
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Leo Todeschini
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Location: Oxford, UK
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 3:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

HI David,

What Julian means by modern is, I am afraid, last week, not 19thC.

Beautiful (if disturbing!) work Julian.

Tod

www.todsworkshop.com
www.todcutler.com
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David Davidson





Joined: 21 Apr 2013

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 4:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Last week.. Oh gee. I thought it might have had a century at least. Any ideas on what something like that would cost to have made now? I haven't paid for it yet, but if a replica can be made for much cheaper and description was completely bogus, I won't pay out of protest.
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 7:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice work Julian! The fiddle is interesting.
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The collar shows signs of modern power tools. Judicial interrogation and punishing methods are side show within my field of study. I carry a lecture by the name "Feudal Justice", referring to many kinds of brutal ways to make people talk or die, along history. It seems that mankind is especially creative with inflicting pain & death, and there is an everlasting urge of people to listen to such a topic, despite the horrible intent. It is a human nature, an instinct of voyeurism.
As I travel across Europe in my search of arms & armor collections, I also look for torture instrument collections, today a regular touristic attraction in former Warsaw-Pact countries. Mind you these are mostly modern reproductions, but there are also good collections around. More books I can recommend are The Book of Execution, and Rack, Rope and Red-Hot Pincers, both by Geoffrey Abbott.

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Mick Jarvis




Location: Australia
Joined: 18 Jul 2010

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PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 2:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julian,

how do those two devices work?
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Marik C.S.




Location: Germany
Joined: 16 Feb 2010

Posts: 163

PostPosted: Sat 27 Apr, 2013 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mick Jarvis wrote:
Julian,

how do those two devices work?


The larger loop/hole around your neck the smaller ones for fingers (on the first piece) or wrists (on the fiddle) to have you paraded around town on a march-of-shame sort of deal if I'm not mistaken.
I imagine wearing such a thing would also not be entirely comfortable - the issues for having it forced upon you most likely violently aside - even if you disregard the impact on your reputation in your social group by being paraded like this.

Basically those are mobile pillories

Europe - Where the History comes from. - Eddie Izzard
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sun 28 Apr, 2013 1:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tod is right, your collar was made yesterday, so to speak.

The Noisemaker's Fife and the Shrew's Fiddle are, indeed, restraints/portable pillories, and would have involved a march-of-shame (possibly even with the addition of a brank). They are modelled below by a medieval re-enactor friend of mine. The Noisemaker's Fife, in particular, can be very painful if you tighten up the finger/thumb screws. There are double-sided Shrew's Fiddles, for chastising women who squabble in the street. A fitting punishment.......!

Other favourites of mine are the Drunkard's Cloak (a barrel worn with just the head poking out of the top, usually painted with sobering scenes) and the Gambler's Rosary (a large, heavy chain worn around the neck from which was suspended oversize playing cards, dice, bottles, etc, carved from stone). Punishments for drinking and gambling, respectively.

Julian



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Fiddle Demo 4.JPG


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Fife Demo 3.JPG

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Mick Jarvis




Location: Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Apr, 2013 2:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thank you for the info on those... that is very interesting indeed
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sun 28 Apr, 2013 3:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a lovely (!) original Shrew's Fiddle - some of these are simple boards with holes in them, others are almost sculptural works of art - needless to say, I prefer the fancy ones as they give more scope for creative carving....

(sorry no picture credit)

Julian



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Shrew's Fiddle 2.jpg

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Mike Janis




Location: Atlanta GA
Joined: 26 Feb 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you are ever in Germany, go by the Rothenburg torture museum:
http://www.history-of-germany.com/?scid=rothenburg_torture&

The executioner’s swords are amazing. They are almost fantasy size with rounded “points”. They did not need to be pointed for cutting off heads.

MikeJ
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2013 9:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

FYI: This is a standing category in Hermann Historica's (online) auction catalogs: http://www.hermann-historica.de/gb/index_abgeschlossen_N.html
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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David Davidson





Joined: 21 Apr 2013

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue 30 Apr, 2013 4:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just found this item up for sale (I'm in no way associated with the business). I'm always looking to find some new things to add to my collection and found this one interesting. Bit expensive though.

English Punishment Axe, ca. 1548
http://www.antiqueweaponstore.com/Ultra%20Rar...201548.htm


P.S Pretty life like hands
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David Davidson





Joined: 21 Apr 2013

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri 10 May, 2013 6:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How trustworthy does eBay tend to be?

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Rare-European16th-...3a80e76846

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Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
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PostPosted: Fri 10 May, 2013 7:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Davidson wrote:
How trustworthy does eBay tend to be?

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Rare-European16th-...3a80e76846


Asking about specific ongoing auctions is not allowed on this site for legal reasons.

That said, just in general EBay is 90% fakes and repros. Stick with reputable auction houses.

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sat 11 May, 2013 12:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That said, this is actually quite a good representation of a typical Brank - the only thing missing is the attachment that goes into the mouth to obstruct the tongue, and I can't see the way it is attached to the head (I suspect it needs some kind of strap to go over the top of the head and another around the back.

Interesting, and a good one to reproduce.

Julian
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Harry Marinakis




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PostPosted: Sat 11 May, 2013 8:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition......
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 11 May, 2013 8:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis wrote:
I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition......




Sorry. I couldn't resist. Happy

Happy

ChadA

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