WHAT is this??!!

marilyn_cMay 12, 2006

My husband found this at a yard sale yesterday, and brought it home to me. I guess he figures it fits one of my junk criterias....made of iron and rusts...and cheap. I think he said he paid 50 cents for it. ;))

He seemed to think that the bell shaped thing went on the end of the chain, but the links are too big to fit through the loop on the "bell". The bell also has no clapper, and looks like it never did. I am thinking it is some kind of lock assembly...obviously, because there is a place for a key in the side of the thing. I can't figure out the long, sharp spike. ????

Looks like something went in the round space in the middle.

He said maybe a light but there are no holes for wiring. No holes for mounting this either. And I don't think it is an oddity put together by someone because it is all riveted together.

I tried to show enthusiasm...but I haven't a clue what to do with this thing. It's awfully evil looking tho, isn't it?

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It looks like it was made for some specialized & heavy-duty function.

Maybe a blacksmith would know?


Where is Antiques Roadshow when you need 'em?...

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 3:23PM
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i am soooo curious!! Please let us know when you find out.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 3:49PM
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Whatever it is Marilyn....I love it...

Whatcha gona do with it??


    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 10:30PM
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Girl, I don't know! I agree that part of it does look like a lock - it's really "Gothic" looking, isn't it?

Let us know if you find out for sure. At any rate - it WAS a bargain! LOL

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 10:36PM
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I have a wine cellar door that is calling out for your treasure!!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 11:27PM
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I don't know what it is but I'll guess that it might be a "self closing" gate latch of some sort, the weight would probably draw the gate slowly closed when it hangs from the chain. The bell shaped thing is it heavy? It's probably the weight. It also must have held some kind of orb because of the four Fleur De Lis(sp) standing in the middle, wonder if it was a big piece of round marble?

What ever it is, I love it your DH did good lol. It looks like if you can mount it so that the spike sticks straight out you could hang a plant or a birdhouse from it ;0)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 1:00AM
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It looks as though it might have been some kind of a gate lock made for a corner but with no mounting holes I don't how it would have been held in place. Does the spike have an opening under it so it might slide in and through the opening?

I don't think I'd use it as a plant holder or birdhouse holder unless it was high enough so I wouldn't stumble and impale myself or gouge out an eye.

And maybe the 2 pieces never were meant to go together.

Could the "bell" have hung so that a ringer was attached to the top loop? It might have been used to call farm hands in for grub or to signal cattle.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 1:02PM
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it looks to me like an art piece someone constructed out of iron odds & ends: candleholder (i have several candleholders very much like the thing in the middle), lock, bell, etc...but i could be wrong!

whatever it is, it's very cool, although the spike does make it seem a bit dangerous! can't wait to see how you use it!

susan in kentucky

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 9:16PM
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to me. it looks like something in medieval times.perhaps part of medieval armor.just my opinion.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 12:32PM
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Yep - it DOES look evil !!!! LOL
But interesting !!! I'm anxious to see how creative you can be with it !

    Bookmark   May 15, 2006 at 10:50AM
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Oh my....I think you should win a prize of some sort.....that is the most curious thing I have ever seen!!!!
Your DH did GREAT!!!!!! I wonder if it could have been a doo-dad from the 70's when Moorish items were a fad????? Maybe had a colored glass globe in the center??? I had some lamps once that had all of those wrought iron curly- ques and gee-gaws on them...however, I don't know what the spike could have been....
hmmmmmmmmmm I'll ponder this!!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 6:22PM
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P.S. you might wave it under Linda C's nose over on the antiques forum....she is very knowleagable!!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 6:24PM
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no idea but I will give your dh back his money. haha
I love things of intrest like that and of course iron
work is allsome!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 11:28AM
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Looks to me like something someone put together to make people like us ask..."What is this?"

Pretty cool!


    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 4:58PM
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I would have bought it!
I would hang it in my garden on a shepards crook.
I have a piece hanging now, not as neat as yours
but this one would do equally well. And in the middle
of a flower bed, no one would have to worry about the 'spike'. Attach the 'bell' with a large S hook.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 10:53AM
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Looks like a medieval torture device! Or, something a farrier might have used.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 12:15PM
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To me, it looks like "part" of an old cemetery, or mausoleum gate. As zipper tx said, the bell looking thing was probably a weight to make the gate self-closing. The chain probably ran through an iron eye-hook on a rock or masonry wall and was attached to the bell weight.

The fleur-de-lis thing could have held a lantern, or been a place to set your lantern, so you could see to fit the key in the lock? Or maybe a place for a gas powered globe?

I agree with the others. Great find and thank your DH!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 8:35PM
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Definitely a torture device used during the Spanish Inquisition!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 4:58PM
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I know what it is...I was made in the 1700;s.. It goes in a torture champers... Some times it was on ships...The English invented it... they were good at torture.....The Smithsonion Will verifie this story.. E-mail them a picture and the ywill tell..... My mother-in-law had one.... JD from Iowa..

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 9:24AM
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I think it is a tavern sign, it looks like the pointy
pole was what the sign was hanging from.... more common
in Europe a century ago.
or not....... hmmmmm

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 11:20PM
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This is obviously a chastity belt. Just looking at it would make any woman "chaste".

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 5:16PM
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I'd send pictures to Country magazine or one of their subsidiaries and see if they'll post it. They usually put a "what is this" picture in the magazine. Whatever it is I'd wait until I found out before I did anything to it. It may be worth something, you never know.


    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 8:04PM
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My guess is that it is a sample piece so the ironworker could show clients his skills. I would think not functional, just demonstrative.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 12:03PM
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It is art! I just love it.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2007 at 10:37PM
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I think Zipper TX is right about it being a self closing gate latch. The "spike" on it probably matched the iron pickets on the fence.

I think it's really neat!! Good DH you have.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2007 at 11:27AM
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