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Vasilios Zinovis




Location: Milwaukee
Joined: 11 Oct 2020

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2020 11:33 pm    Post subject: Torture Thumbscrews? Original or Victorian Copy?         Reply with quote

Wondering if this is an original or a Victorian copy. The engravings are very unique but not sure what there significance would be any input would be helpful.


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Michael Beeching





Joined: 22 Jan 2014
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 258

PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2020 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My input is not at all educated, but that does not look Medieval. While many sophisticated mechanisms were produced during the Medieval period, as exemplified by works such as this:

https://thomasguild.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-tools-of-martin-loffelholz-1505.html

https://jbc.bj.uj.edu.pl/dlibra/doccontent?id=258834&from=PIONIER%20DLF

(Thanks to Mr. Jean Henri Chandler for posting links to that work on another forum)

...the object in question here does not strike me as having the same kind of bespoke "spark" that something truly Medieval would. On that note, I could be wrong, but such is my opinion.
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Vasilios Zinovis




Location: Milwaukee
Joined: 11 Oct 2020

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2020 9:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for your response Michael! Nice photos.
The thread posts do appear to be very similar to this photo especially on the top👍🏻



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Charles S.




Location: peat swamps of MN
Joined: 03 Mar 2014

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue 13 Oct, 2020 4:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just food for thought, could this be an authentic piece, but not a medieval one? Ive no knowledge on artifacts, but I do know that thumbscrews were used as late as the mid 1600s, and likely later, in both Great Britain and the Colonies.
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Vasilios Zinovis




Location: Milwaukee
Joined: 11 Oct 2020

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue 13 Oct, 2020 5:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Charles...its definitely a thumbscrew torture device. Just trying to pinpoint if its after the 1700s or before. Also it appears to have blood staining and blood rust putting on the bolt heads.
The engravings point towards it being made pre 1700s during the Puritan Movement.
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Michael P. Smith




Location: Muncie, Indiana
Joined: 11 Jul 2018
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 96

PostPosted: Wed 14 Oct, 2020 5:43 am    Post subject: I think it's 17th c.         Reply with quote

I saw a very similar object that had a pretty firmly 17th c provenance in SE Germany. It could be a well done copy, I guess, but it might be hard to ever know for sure.
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Vasilios Zinovis




Location: Milwaukee
Joined: 11 Oct 2020

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed 14 Oct, 2020 11:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Michael

I definitely am starting to feel as if its authentic! I guess the most important part would be identifying the purpose and maker of the engraving. I feel as if its pre 1700s and depicting the Puritan movement with the image of Christ on one side and a demon on the other side.

Thank you for your input!!



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Don Stanko




Location: ohio
Joined: 27 Apr 2004
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Reading list: 482 books

Posts: 252

PostPosted: Wed 14 Oct, 2020 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With judging authenticity, one of the most important questions has yet to be asked, where did it come from?

Certain sources have greater potential for credibility. A well known collector or reputable auction house is more credible than Craigslist.
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Vasilios Zinovis




Location: Milwaukee
Joined: 11 Oct 2020

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed 14 Oct, 2020 4:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don I agree with you 100% The piece come out of France from private collection unfortunately the provenance can go back only so far. Its definitely not an eBay or Craigslist item. I must treat this search for authenticity as its one of those items. I feel one whos familiar with engravings and blood rust can tell a lot from this piece.
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