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any idea?

June 6 2017 at 2:27 AM
DJ-halfdead  (Login djhalfdead)

Alright fellas, these cuffs have come to me from a friend who is offering to sell them to me. He thinks they are sterling silver, which they are not. They look to be standard Hiatts to me. My question is this: any ideas on what the inscribing on them means? Who is/was "the pieman" and why would he be given handcuffs? Im stumped on this one. I did some google searching and came up with a man who matches this name who was a printer around this time frame. Why would a printer be given or used handcuffs? Im hoping that somene in the UK can give me some insight on this. All of the help is appreciated.
-Richard Knip-


[linked image]


    
This message has been edited by lauher on Aug 4, 2017 8:04 PM


 
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DJ-halfdead
(Login djhalfdead)

inscription:

June 6 2017, 2:45 AM 

To help those who cant see it, the iscription on the cuffs reads as: "To Hugh Spottiswoode (the pieman) From The Printers Pirate Nov. 7 1915." The key has the marks of: I cant make out the first image, but it is followed by the image of a lion and the image of a shield or a crest?
-Richard Knip-

 
 
DJ-halfdead
(Login djhalfdead)

2nd inscription

June 6 2017, 3:00 AM 

this is the inscription on the 2nd cuff. It reads: "To Bind Us Closer Hand To Hand" and has 2 other marks on the lock casing shown in the pic.
-Richard Knip-


[linked image]

 
 
pieman's mate
(no login)

Re: any idea?

June 6 2017, 4:11 AM 

I guess they were a parting/retirement gift with a lot of humour. (you would have had to have been there in 1915)

 
 
Ron Spitz
(no login)

Re: any idea?

June 6 2017, 11:46 AM 

The markings on the key looks like makers markings and quality of the silver plating, if there is any. They can be looked up in various reference books. It would take some research but worth the effort.

Ron

 
 
Joseph Fox
(no login)

Silver handcuffs

June 6 2017, 2:21 PM 

The "markings" on the key do remind me of the markings that are seen on the famous Houdini "Mirror Handcuff" Silver Replica.

...leading one to think that SOME Silver may have been incorporated into the darby's manufacturing.

http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/search?q=mirror+handcuffs+silver

(the above link is from John Cox's Houdini tribute website: www.wildabouthoudini.com)


 
 
DJ-halfdead
(Login djhalfdead)

Re: any idea?

June 6 2017, 2:47 PM 

Very interesting. I am learning quite a bit and I thank all of you, very much. Im guessing that they are silver plated? I am going to have the gentlemen who owns these put a magnet to them and see if it sticks. Pure silver isnt magnetic. If it sticks, it could still show that they are standard darbys with a silver plating over the top. I am currently trying to research the markings to see what i can come up with. Nothing yet. Thanks again.
-Richard Knip-

 
 
Steve Santini
(no login)

Re: any idea?

June 6 2017, 3:27 PM 

Such markings in silver are sometimes called "hallmarks."

Within each silver hallmark there is one symbol that denotes the year of manufacture. This particular symbol is called a, "date cypher."

Find the date cypher and you can find out the exact year of manufacture.

If the key has a hallmark, I am inclined to think that there may be a matching hallmark somewhere on the cuff as well.

Unless of course only the key is solid silver or silver plated and the cuff is the usual nickel plate.

Cheers, Steve Santini

 
 
DJ-halfdead
(Login djhalfdead)

Re: any idea?

June 6 2017, 4:40 PM 

So far...I have this much figured out. The key is marked with a makers mark for Mappin and Webb Ltd. silversmiths and plating from London. It does have a sterling silver mark on the key, but not present on the cuffs. Still working on the I.D. for the two marks shown on the cuffs, themselves. I have yet to find a date mark on either piece. Not having these cuffs in hand and trying to work a deal over email is proving rather difficult. He is wanting solid silver pricing, but i strongly believe these to be just sterling plated.
-RK-

 
 
DJ-halfdead
(Login djhalfdead)

Re: any idea?

June 6 2017, 5:28 PM 

Just got an email. The only magnetic part of the cuffs is the center of the lock casing. Guessing, the bolt and spring? Im now thinking, that these are not just plated. They bear the marking of sterling silver and are not magnetic. My early Hiatt cuffs are magnetic. Very cool piece! Hoping that we can strike a deal.
-Richard Knip-

 
 
sherlock
(no login)

Re: any idea?

June 6 2017, 7:51 PM 

weigh your silver (plated?) cuff and weigh another similar pair.

silver has a high specific gravity and should be more if solid silver (which i suspect it is not)

 
 
Paul Davies
(no login)

Re: any idea?

June 7 2017, 3:56 AM 

I can see some casting marks inside the hole in the key head, also an odd seam running around the edge of the tube cap. I'd like to see more photos of the end cap and also of the chain and how it links to the cuff. Obviously if it was custom made as a present, any date stamps should be from 1913.
Very unusual.

 
 
Paul Davies
(no login)

Re: any idea?

June 7 2017, 4:24 AM 

William Hugh Spottiswoode was a printer, son of William Spottiswoode, so he was probably known as Hugh.
He lived at FETTER Lane, London. Died in 1915 with an Estate valued at 37 thousand Pounds.

 
 
DJ-halfdead
(Login djhalfdead)

Re: any idea?

June 7 2017, 12:02 PM 

Thanks for the ideas and input, fellas. Paul, your info on Hugh, is much appreciated. That is more than I found out about him. Wondering if this gift had something to do with a book he published at some point? Anyway, here are two more photos that I received last night. Have not gotten a shot of the end cap.
-Richard Knip-

[linked image]

[linked image]

 
 
Paul Davies
(no login)

Re: any idea?

June 7 2017, 7:33 PM 

As many of you know, researching history is my "thing".

Thanks for the extra photos which show the London date stamp 'S' for 1913. That is the date engraved on the cuff, not 1915.

So, here is how I read it, with some research and imagination.

Hugh was the owner of the Printers, his staff gave him the cuffs as a retirement present due to ill health in 1913.
He was a wealth man, who probably owned a few gold watches and didn't need another.
He had more than one house or premises at the time of his death in 1915, Fetter Lane was one of them.

Cuffs because he or the printers was in FETTER Lane.
Pieman = he liked his pies too much (died age 49) or gave his staff pies for lunch.
Pirates = crew = staff
As someone said "you had to be there". Sounds like multiple in-jokes.

If you jump on Ancestry.com armed with the name and year of death you will find his Eton University education, Printer to the Queen/King, Freedom of the City of London, partner of Eyre & Spottiswoode, his father is buried in Westminster Abbey, p120 Burke's Peerage and Baronetage 69 Edition, p667 Who Was Who 1897-1916,

Some more distant relatives = "Captain John's father, William Spotswood, a 'Revolutionary' publisher in Philadelphia"http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~coolumkids/

Have fun, without the story it's just a silver handcuff
Paul

 
 
same as now in 1915?
(no login)

Re: any idea?

June 7 2017, 8:51 PM 

Urban Dictionary: #pieman
https://www.urbandictionary.com/tags.php?tag=pieman
Definitions tagged with #pieman. ... #pieman. Top Definition. Pyman. A guy who is completely obsessed with pelvic thrusting. ...

 
 
DJ-halfdead
(Login djhalfdead)

Re: any idea?

June 8 2017, 2:54 AM 

Wow! Thank you so much for all of your research to help reassemble this puzzle, Paul! The information that you have recovered is amazing! I am deeply grateful for your work and to the work and insight from everyone who commented on this. I do not own these, yet. Still trying to work the deal. My fingers are crossed that at some point, the owner and I will see eye to eye. Cheers, friends!
-Richard Knip-

 
 
 
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