Shackles for sale, without key

Hayward's Auction House owner Kevin Hayward holds shackles set for auction next week. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Hayward's Auction House owner Kevin Hayward holds shackles set for auction next week. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

More shackles are up for auction in Dunedin.

Hayward's Auction House owner Kevin Hayward said an Oamaru pensioner bought the shackles from a Brisbane garage sale in the 1990s and believed the set to be from the convict ship Charlotte.

The English ship left Portsmouth in 1787 and carried male and female convicts to Sydney, Australia.

The shackles could be used to restrain the ankles of a small person, or handcuff a large person, but a key would need to be made.

Mr Hayward said the shackles would be auctioned on Wednesday and were more refined than those bought by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull in March.

Mr Cull stopped an auction and the council spent $3900 on the shackles because they could have restrained Maori prisoners in Dunedin.

But further Toitu Otago Settlers Museum investigations revealed the shackles were more likely to have restrained camels in the Middle East.

Mr Cull yesterday said the ''significant aspect'' of stopping the shackle auction in March was the possible connection with Maori prisoners from Taranaki.

Sold Without fanfare

Sold yesterday for $300 (plus any other auction costs) Value about right for penal leg shackles. How long before the Mayor's baubles come back on the market?

Aye, a fine wee investment yet to meet market, I suppose it's only someone else's money after all.

Here we go again

Yes, take the mayor's cheque book off him.

But being objective these appear to be true "Darby" leg cuffs, as used throughout the British Empire & beyond in gaols & lunatic asylums. For comparision photos and further details of the Mayor's Camel shackles, try to get the July copy of the Otago Antique Arms newletter called the "Hangfire", very interesting. Shown is a pair of "Darby" hand cuffs that although very good copies would in all respects been used in times past to restrain prisoners etc.  (try their National Office for contacts).

The leg cuffs shown in todays ODT do not have a great value due to originals being available old & new, on the internet. Just try inserting "Darby Cuffs" to see just how many exist. Value about the same as the Mayors before some creative whispers.

The Mayor's were worth about approx NZ$2-350 (without publicity) but these being so common they would without publicity be up to NZ$25O. The shackles/ irons used to ship & control slaves in the 17th & 18th cent slave trade are very similar, in that they are much simpler & cruder than the auction items shown by Kevin.

Today we forget that the term "slave" wasn't just something that happened to Africans but also existed here in NZ. (Sorry it did, check your history) Slavery exists today in many forms, check out some UN & International reports. Mankind is a cruel creature, slavery never goes away..... 

Any more bids?

Come on Mayor Cull... You know you want to, after all its only council money.

You could use them to shackle the Councillors when they fail to perform.

You know you really need them, surely there is a link to Dunedin somewhere you can find......

We don't need those either

Quick, somebody please hide Dave's chequebook!

Simple question for Mr Cull

Are you the mayor of Dunedin or are you the mayor of Taranaki?

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