PAGE 3 of SELECTION OF ITEMS IN THE COLLECTION.

Back to previous page

The most well-known French manufacturer of restraint is the Rivolier company. Typically these have a double locking system that requires a separate key which operates a tumbler lock as shown in the first illustration. But they also make ordinary single locking handcuffs and, until recently, the rather primitive leg-irons shown in the second picture.

In Germany, the leading modern maker is the firm Clemen & Jung of Solingen, which uses the brand name “Clejuso”. The first pair is an older pattern sold until the late 1980s. The second pair is an amazing type, weighing 1300 gms and is the heaviest modern handcuff still being made. I wonder what they were designed for and would hesitate to put a violent prisoner in them, it would arm him with a powerful weapon! Then a pair of their leg-irons, adjustable, but not swinging bow type. Previously they had offered a pair that looked like a large pair of “Scotland Yard” type handcuffs.

Next is shown a “Clejuso” gang chain, usually offered in this form, with five shackles, though nowadays it uses the latest pattern handcuff.

The “Hamburg Eights” handcuff, made by the Kayser company, is very well known to escapologists, as it is easy to “gaff”, that is, to alter the locking mechanism so that it opens rapidly and easily when put on the performer, but on anyone else is a secure restraint.

The “Volkspolizei” handcuff is a hinged swinging bow type that was produced in what was the East German Republic. A similar non-swinging bow type was also produced, presumably by a different state factory.

The “Schutzemarke” handcuff shown next was made in various forms from the early 1930s until the present time. The model illustrated is of the last type. The earliest models were used by the infamous Gestapo.

The Dutch firm LIPS made a handcuff very much like the previous German model, differing only in that double locking was by an external lever on the lockcase rather than by the key through the keyhole. The handcuff illustrated is their standard chain link model and this double locks with the key via the keyhole.

The Spanish firm Larrañaga y Elorza make handcuffs under the brand name “Alcyon” in Europe. They sell under a variety of names elsewhere, such as “Romo”, “Fury” and “Zephyr Chief”. Illustrated is a flat key model, which followed the earlier round key model. Next, a pair with an unusual universal joint linkage, which is still in production.

I showed a couple of grips earlier, here are three more, L to R, an American Phillips “Nipper”, chain “wrist crackers” (Clejuso still make this type) and a German Heid & Roth “Claw”.

Next comes a reproduction handcuff, the famous “Bagno”. It seems that in the Bastille in Paris, certain cells were so deep that, at certain states of the tide, they flooded. Prisoners in them then were said to be having a bath – bagne. There seems to have been a similar situation in some Italian prisons and the prisoners having the bath – bagno in Italian – were often wearing these handcuffs, so the name got transferred to them. Modern Italian police still use a similar handcuff, but lock it with a padlock rather than the hammered ring shown here.

Pouta handcuffs and leg-irons are made by the Bren company of the Czech Republic. These are also sold under the brand name Ralkem. Note the more secure keyway. The key can be introduced from either side. The company has been privatised and now uses the trade mark ALFA proj.

 

A most unusual handcuff is that made by the Belgian firm FN-Herstal which has a lock which requires a magnet to open it.

 

Lastly, in this section, a thumbcuff. This is by YUIL of Korea and is unusual among thumbcuffs of this type in that it has a separate keyhole for each shackle.

Back to previous page