Iron Mask 17th or 18th Century
Possibly from a scold’s bridle or mask of infamy. A scold’s bridle was an instrument of punishment, as a form of torture and public humiliation. The device was an iron muzzle in an iron framework that enclosed the head. A bridle-bit (or curb-plate), about 2 inches long and 1 inch broad, projected into the mouth and pressed down on top of the tongue.
The mask of infamy was a torture device used as a form of humiliation. The mask itself caused no physical torture, but the wearer was often chained to a post where he or she was tortured by various members surrounding the scene. The mask would sometimes have a ball, or other type of inner device, to prevent the wailing or screaming of the wearer. The types of masks represented the crime. For example, if the person was considered dirty, he or she would wear the pig shaped mask. It would be locked onto the head for a time determined by the accuser.
This item was originally displayed as an executioner’s mask alongside a block and axe in the Tower of London.
English Rapier, c.1630-50
Fine and Classic English Civil War Period Rapier c.1630-1650, straight double edge Solingen blade deeply struck with makers devices and the apocryphal date 1535, iron hilt of Norman type 87 comprising an arcaded gallery, pierced and engraved bowl, quillons and side bars all with typical scrolled finials, tall swollen fluted pommel, wire bound grip. Overall length 108 cm, blade 87 cm. Excellent age patina overall. Good condition. This rapier would have been owned by a Protestant. 1535 is of seminal importance in English history and commemorates the year Henry 8th declared himself head of the Church of England.
I have a soft spot for this type of hilt.