Object Title

Catchpole

Catchpole

Date

1600-1699

Object Number

VII.1153

Provenance

Not recorded. Tower arsenal?

Physical Description

The head is formed by a lyre-shaped fork, its bifurcated ends turned outwards and inwards in close curlicues. To each top curve of the fork is rivetted a flat spring the other end of which is attached to one end of a quadrant bar which passes through the sides of the fork to terminate in a pierced, trefoil stop. At the base of the fork is an upturned hook; octagonal socket; two langets extend down the old, but not original, haft.


Pressure between the springs opens them sufficiently to permit the passage of the neck of a man or animal. The springs close again after the neck has passed through, holding it fast.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length of head: 470 mm (18.5 in), length of langets: 400mm (15.75 in)

Associations

Bibliographic References

J. Hewitt, The Tower, its History, Armouries and Antiquities, PLACE, 1845, PAGE NUMBER.

J Hewitt, Official Catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1870, PAGE NUMBER.

C. ffoulkes, Inventory and Survey of the Armouries of the Tower of London, 2 vols, London, 1916, vol. II, p. 252.

Royal Armouries (Leeds), Torture and Punishment [3rd edn], Leeds, 1997, p. 19, lower illus. (col., det. of head) - 'German or Scandinavian, and perhaps ... 17th century'.

Notes

NB. This record originally stated that the nationality was 'English'. However, although little seems to be known about these objects, the consensus seems to be that they are of German/Swiss origin.
Hewitt 1870 states that he was informed by Professor Thomsen of Copenhagen that these weapons were used up to that date by police in Sweden (from ffoulkes 1916 - TO BE CHECKED). On these weapons generally see also a letter from A.V.B. Norman of 30 November 1982 (on. inv. file). This weapon was on show among the weapons of 'Queen Elizabeth's Armoury' by 1845, when it was illustrated in Hewitt 1845 (Royal Armouries 1997).