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Brass darby warning

May 16 2006 at 11:36 AM

I've just notice the following on ebay " Obsolete Brass Handcuffs Reuben Craddock & Son "? Item number: 7767116258.

I just want to offer a gentle warning that these cuffs may not be brass at all. The seller description is below. The last sentence to me says a lot.

Old Obsolete Brass Handcuffs - Military Police?: RCS (Reuben Craddock & Son) - 1956

Highly collectable, old brass handcuffs - many years out of date. Appear to be Reuben Craddock & Son Darby type. Bottom of one barrel is marked with a figure 2 over 2IC and 246 (divided by a horizontal line, and a War Office crow's foot/broadarrow. Other is marked R.C.S. 1956 and both keys are marked 203. Very good condition; in full working order. Appear to be brass but uncleaned so unable to confirm.

This is the 3rd pair of cuffs claiming to be brass since the 2 pairs of RCS backstaps were sold. The first two pairs were so obviously Indian Darbies sprayed with gold paint that I didn't even bother to post a warning. This pair looks a little more convincing but I think they are spray painted hence the sellers cautious wording.

I may be wrong but I think it's someone trying to cash in.

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Re: Brass darby warning

May 16 2006, 6:23 PM 

I looked at the picture and the write up, I think the guy is trying to pull a fast one. The patina between brass and iron is different, and his pictures are so poor you can't tell...


Brass darby warning

May 17 2006, 12:15 AM 

I've dealt with this Company on a number of occasions and they are a Long Time REPUTABLE Brick & Morter Business in London. Knowing the "expertise" the seller has in the Restraint Industry (Military/Police Surplus as well as Fetters Type Restraints) I would say his OPINION as to what they are made of Would Be Accurate and no Fast one!

I would say based upon the Ebay arena he places a general disclaimer in so some "BrAss-Hole" doesn't come back saying these cuffs aren't brass but there ONLY 80 Percent Brass & 20 Percent of some other Metal and I've had them tested; etc. And you said in your listing they were BRASS!!

I would Suggest Contacting the Seller and Ask for additional Photographs.. NOW That IS a REALLY Good Piece of Advice versus a Warning to stay away from something a Cunning Bidder MIGHT JUST Post around; so that other Less Educated people would BE FOOLED INTO Thinking someone is looking out for them when possibly they are looking out only for themselves in a LOWER winning BId ?? Hmmm.. Now that's problably more accurate..


Re: Brass darby warning

May 17 2006, 4:05 AM 

Cold steel cuffs,

I sense from the tone of your response that you are suggesting that my warning may actually be a rouse to prevent or discourage others from bidding on these “brass” cuffs in order that I may obtain these cuffs for myself at a reduced price ? If so why don’t you just say so instead of tip toeing around the issue.

Your suggestion that the seller is covering his back is probably correct but it is ludicrous to think that he is doing it for the reason you suggest. I think the likely hood of the new owner going to a metallurgist and having these cuffs tested and then complaining about the composition of the metal is bordering on the realms of fantasy. Iron is Iron and not Brass .
For you information Brass is a metal alloy of Copper and Zinc, with copper content ranging from 58% to 95%. In addition to Zinc, the major alloying element, small additions (less than 5%) of other alloying elements are added to modify the properties so that the resulting material is fit for a given purpose. There are over 40 standard compositions of Brass .

At no point in my original post did I say they were not brass. Looking closely at the image I still maintain that they look as if they have been sprayed with a paint of some description to look like brass. I am not saying that your friend has done this in order to turn a £30.00 pair of cuffs into a
£ 700.00 pair . To the best of my knowledge which I will admit has its limits and I imagine pails into insignificance when compared with Coldsteelcuff’s and hard-wear’s ( the seller to those of you who may be interested) , R.C.S. made cuffs from Iron, Steel and Brass. As you claim your friend has “EXPERTISE” as a long time seller in the restraint industry I would have thought that me would be able to tell the difference at a glance between Iron and Brass. My young son can every time but if your expert is having trouble. I’LL BUY HIM A MAGNET AND ONE FOR YOURSELF IF YOU POST YOUR HOME ADDRESS !! !

If you look back at my post of April 21 2006 in which I congratulate Joe Lauher on his book "British Handcuffs A Collector's Guide to Vintage Handcuffs" you will see that I refer to eBay item 7761080431 . ( If anyone reading this can be bothered type this number into eBay you’ll see what I mean ) Most definitely another eBay seller cashing in.
If you think my warning to fellow cuff collectors is going to sway the minds of EXPERTS like Joe Lauher, Stan Willis , Chris Gower, Lars Holst to name but a few then you do these people a great injustice. I simply stated CAVEAT EMPTOR ( Let the buyer beware) You however imply these people do not have the sense to make up their own minds. These people are not idiots. Having never met any of them I am basing my opinion on the messages posted on this board . I have never met you however I am unable to come to the same conclusion about you using the same parameters with which to draw my conclusion.

If they are Brass then fantastic. Another as yet unkown variation. If not then what ! ! !


Brass darby warning

May 17 2006, 12:36 PM 

Dear RMP,

The nonsense which commonly appears here of what people do or don't buy on Ebay and How much "THEY" do spend or don't spend for this or that is ridiculous. This is the Handcuff Forum. Ebay is Ebay. If you are a user of both great. The ADAGE of BUYER BEWARE IS WELL SPELLED OUT In the Ebay USER AGREEMENT!

Secondly, Most people who are regulars to this Forum are Highly Educated Collectors of Restraints as you NOTED. Not that "WE" can't or Don't learn from others here. And that a persons' mind is like a parachute; it works best when open!

So why does anyone HERE NEED your OPINION Or advice of what you suspect something is on Ebay??? That I find insulting. No, I don't know what you believe your qualifications to be or what FIELD your expertise is in; nor do I care. I do know of and have dealt with (sold to and/or Bought From) a number of the others that you've mentioned. And When I See THEIR opinion Posted I can Respect that.

And your Assumptions of What I SUSPECT your Motivations are regarding your warning.. YOU Are right on the Money!! Now just let me know what EBAY User ID You will be bidding with?


Re: Brass darby warning

May 17 2006, 1:46 PM 

Dear Coldsteelcuffs,

Limited time allows me only to make a brief response to your reply which I’ll take paragraph by paragraph.

The first paragraph makes next to no sense at all so there’s very little I can comment on.

In your second paragraph you simply seem to agree with me that MOST users of this forum are highly educated and that it is a place to share information with others. The definition of a forum is a place of meeting for public discussion. You however may be getting mixed up with a Roman Forum which was a place used for judicial business. You have already found be guilty of trying to manipulate the selling price of an auction. Whilst being slightly irrelevant to this posting I would whole heartedly agree that parachutes do work best when open. Who packs yours?

Paragraph three seems to pick up where two left off and descends into a personal tirade against me. I’ve never mentioned my qualifications but I guess I’ve blown any chance of a job offer. You have been insulted by me. Why? Simply for posting a warning of a potential problem with an item on an online auction site. If I ever see you about to jump from a plane wearing a sack of cement that you bought on eBay because someone called it a parachute I’ll remember not to insult you.

Finally paragraph four shows me that my assumption about you is also correct .
Did you bother to look at the earlier auction for brass darbies which were spray painted.

Maybe you got your dander up because every user of this forum is now aware of these cuffs which may well actually increase the bidding activity rather than warning people off.
Again I feel that these cuffs are most likely painted as most people can tell the difference between iron and brass. We have more magnet posting than enough recently so I’m loathed to raise that one again.
Maybe they are solid gold.

If they are brass then I can accept that as mentioned in my earlier post but as this is a forum (Not a Roman one) then by it’s very nature I feel perfectly entitled to express my opinion. Even if you don’t like it. I think these cuffs may be painted to look brass so if you’re interested in bidding be careful.

My ebay id I feel is private information. I was going to bid £ 35.00 for this item keeping £5.00 aside for paint stripper. However I feel that I shall not bid on this item in case you get your Julius Ceasar head on again.


Brass darby warning

May 17 2006, 11:17 PM 

Will you be bidding using your Ebay Id of cuffman692000 or one of your other ID's?


Re: Brass darby warning

May 18 2006, 3:31 AM 

I have already explained I will not be bidding on these cuffs.

As for eBay accounts.... I have the same number of eBay account as brain cells which you have actively put to use during this discussion. ONE.

You have started a ridiculous serious of threads in response to what was a relevant posting on this forum. This simply demonstrates a below average level of intelligence and maturity. In future when you see a post by RMP you now know to ignore it and save yourself from the distress my opinions obviously cause you.

This is a place for sensible people with sensible comments. Not necessarily knowledgeable people hence the necessity from time to time to draw peoples attention to potential problems. Out of respect to those sensible people but in particular Mr Joe Lauher who has taken the time and effort to arrange this group for the benefit of many I feel this matter should be laid to rest.
I do however feel it appropriate to offer my opinion to the users of this forum that eBay item 7767116258 may or may not be made of BRASS. The seller describes this item as

"Old Obsolete Brass Handcuffs"

Highly collectable, old brass handcuffs -

However goes on to say

"Appear to be brass but uncleaned so unable to confirm"

I say if the seller who you know and respect and who you claim is an expert in the field of restraints can’t tell Brass from Iron even without access to one of the special handcuff magnets we all love so much then


Also he states that all sales are final so even if your magnet sticks to them you’re stuck with them.


brass "war" cuffs

May 18 2006, 4:00 AM 

hi rmp and cold steel

it looks like you have both a personal veto on here
lets stop this discussion here please



Re: Brass darby warning

May 18 2006, 6:27 AM 

Yes, take it to the street!


Re: Brass darby warning

May 18 2006, 11:42 AM 

Brass or not brass that is the question

In fact, it is very easy to check that particular point.

The brass cuffs are very heavy. I have got some nice brass models in my collection. All of them are very heavy compared with the iron models

So gentlemen request the weigh.... A good solution to answer your requests


Re: Brass darby warning

May 18 2006, 12:20 PM 

Hi Petchi,

Thanks for your suggestion but the seller has now amended the details and he doesn't think they are brass anymore. Would you mind posting a little more info on your cuffs.



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May 18 2006, 2:19 PM 

I can't wait for these cuffs to be sold and put away in a drawer somewhere so I do not have to hear about them ever again!


Photos of brass cuffs

May 19 2006, 6:57 AM 

A reader send us three nice pictures of real brass handcuffs.

Reuben Craddock & Son Backstrap Darby in Brass

French LA POLICIERE in brass

Chinese brass handcuff

Thanks very much



Re: Brass darby warning

May 19 2006, 7:28 AM 

Thanks Petchi, some really nice cuffs.

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