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Nov 13, 2012

`Hiatt` Style Cap Wrist Locks

This is a very nice, albeit somewhat rusty rare set of Cap Wrist Locks.

A beautiful old chain and cap wrist locks for restraining a group of prisoners, in this case five. I believe that this possibly dates to the end of the C19th, C1890. I think that these cap wrist locks were originally designed by Hiatt. It must be an interesting story to learn how a chain that would have held a gang of prisoners came to end up at a car boot sale in North Yorkshire in a box load of rusty old spanners... A google search for `chain room` at Millbank or Dartmoor will give a result showing these items in situ (see photo below). Pictures of chain rooms show the restraints hung on the walls and I wonder if they would have been numbered when being stored, perhaps the numbers relate to different wrist sizes as, as can be seen from one of the photos they did come in different sizes to accomodate varying wrists. Or maybe the number was allocated to a particular prisoner ... so that if a wrist lock was missing so was the prisoner !

This particular chain measures 58" long. There are 5 cap wrist locks, one of which is missing the actual `cap`, all of the others have stamped matching numbers (see photos). The largest in size are stamped 52 & 65, the next size down is stamped 13, the next is stamped 46, and the smallest is stamped 11. The bit that looks like half a pair of handcuffs is in fact the end lock which was used to stop the wrist locks from coming off the gang chain. This end lock has no key. I have been over this with a fine tooth comb and can find not even the faintest hint of a makers stamp. As you can see from the photos, I havnt cleaned or touched this, so there is some surface rusting, but the hinges on the locks are good. If you have any further questions I would welcome such enquiries.

Just been horrified by the prices for postage. The parcel will weigh over 2 kgs which means that it will have to be sent by Courier.... or... I can split it into 2 parcels which will keep it below the Royal Mail limit but in most cases there wont be much of a difference when you add in 2 tracking costs. If you have any further suggestions or preferences please let me know. - eBay (4 Nov 2012)
This set of Cap Wrist Locks had a high bid of 831 British Pounds / $1,322.12 (Plus Shipping).

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