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36.8 x 27.4 cm ⏐ 14.5 x 10.8 in (300dpi)
NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The thumbscrew is a torture instrument which was first used in medieval Europe. It is a simple vice, sometimes with protruding studs on the interior surfaces. The victim's thumbs or fingers were placed in the vice and slowly crushed. The thumbscrew was also applied to crush prisoners' big toes. The crushing bars were sometimes lined with sharp metal points to puncture the thumbs and inflict greater pain in the nail beds. Larger, heavier devices based on the same design principle were applied to crush feet and ears.
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