18th century. Forged iron comprising two ankle shackles on a cross bar with T form end and loop the opposite. The loop secured with a heavy split iron ring which is hammered closed. This is a passive restraint used for immobilizing slaves as was done for the passage from Africa to the markets. See Transatlantic Slavery, #91 for a virtual identical (but for hand work) set in the Liverpool Museum ac # 56.24.135. Slaves were stored in multiple decks within slave ships, virtually immobile to increase the number accommodated. The shackles, known as bilboes, would fasten around the ankles of two men side by side. The split ring would have engaged an iron eye anchored in the deck to which the slaves would have been secured. The journey known as the Middle Passage typically took about six weeks and often, slaves were restrained, without relief, for the entire journey.

Stock Number: FNS4109

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