Firstly I must mention my booklet Handcuffs & Other Restraints. This is intended as an introduction to the subject and I have described it as a work that probably contains all the information that the ordinary person wants to know about handcuffs etc. 

My full scale textbook A Guidebook to Handcuffs and Other Restraints of the World  contains a comprehensive survey of modern restraints as well as chapters on ancient and medieval items. There is a chapter on grips & disposable wrist ties and  miscellany chapters that contain sections on things like toys, rope ties, restraint garments and reproductions. There is a chapter which readers may find particularly interesting, which I have called The Psychology of Restraint.  The book, 238 x 160 mms,  has 304 pages and about 720 illustrations. 

Volume 2 of the Guidebook, subtitled Supplement and Index, is now available. This carries on from the end of the main text, beginning at page 305 and updates its information, adding much new material and correcting some errors that have been found. It has 240 pages and about 470 illustrations, 30 of them in colour. The index covers both volumes. 

Both books and the booklet can be ordered from:-

Kingscourt Publications, The Boot Cottage, The Street, Kingscourt, Stroud, Glos., England.  GL5 5DR.


Prices, including postage & packing:-

Britain:   Booklet  £4.00   Books   £29.00 each

If both volumes of the Guidebook are ordered at the same time £40.00 the set.

Elsewhere:  Please E-mail for a quotation.

If you are interested in the history of these things, you will find the 117 page article that Hugh Thompson wrote for Archaeological Journal, volume 150 (1993) entitled Iron Age and Roman Slave-shackles essential reading. It is available from the Royal Archaeological Institute.

There are several books available overseas. A very fine French text book by Jean-Michel Robin is Entraves Fers & Menottes. This book is profusely illustrated with excellent colour photographs and is essential reading for information about medieval European restraints. 

 By far and away the best general book written in the United States of America is that by Tom Gross called Manacles of the World. The first edition is now out of print, but see his website listed in LINKS for news of his next edition.

Joe Lauher has produced a very good 108 page collector's guide entitled British Handcuffs. Its numerous illustrations are mostly in colour. He also edits the Handcuffs Annual, editions for 2006 and 2007 are available.

Two more American books written by Matthew G. Forte, American Police Collectibles and American Police Equipment, are published by Turn of the Century Publishers. These are first rate on the subject and besides very full descriptions of all the important American handcuffs, have the most comprehensive coverage of grips in print.

Another important American book is John G. Peters’  Tactical Handcuffing. Strangely, considering the title, this book shows a large number of patentees’ drawings of various types of grip, making this book very good on that aspect of restraint. It is available from Reliapon Police Products.

In Australia, Ian McColl has produced a very useful book Handcuff Patents which gives the inventors’ drawings of over a hundred items. His website is also in LINKS.