Replica of an iron wrist restrainer, England, 1850-1920
The original of this wrist restrainer was found in a chest at the Hanwell Asylum in Middlesex in 1930. Hanwell Asylum is now West London Mental Health NHS Trust at St Bernard’s Hospital. The restraint was used to contain a violent or unruly patient. The copy is made of heavy leather with metal chain. It appears to be a highly accurate representation of the original because it shows marks of wear and tear. Hanwell Asylum’s superintendent was John Conolly (1794-1866). He famously renounced instruments of mechanical restraint in favour of ‘moral treatment’. Moral treatment was regular labour under constant surveillance. It is possible copies made of this and other articles found at the same time were created to illustrate to patients and staff the former treatment of inmates.
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A historic term for a psychiatric hospital. The term in this context was common in the 1700s and 1800s, but is no longer in use.
Use for precise reproductions of valued objects, usually in the same dimensions as the original. For reproductions of an image alone, use "reproductions" or "facsimiles." Use also when more than one similar object is produced by the same artist, craftsman, or studio, with little or no variation between them; if variation is apparent, use "versions." Distinct from "forgeries" and "counterfeits," which are produced with the intent to deceive.
Glossary: wrist restraint