Heavy Darby with a Sheffield key

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Posted by J. Lauher on September 08, 2001 at 09:53:02:

The picture above shows two sets of heavy Darby handcuffs. The cuff marked (a.) was recently purchased on ebay. It is very heavy cuff that uses a (b.) male "Sheffield" style key.

The cuff is marked with various numbers plus a British broad arrow (c). The cuff is certainly the heaviest Darby I have seen. It is truly massive, 795 grams or 1.75 pounds.

In (d.) and (e.) I show pictures of another example of this cuff. These pictures were sent to me by man in New Zealand who said they came from his uncle's estate and were possibly obtained during either World War I or II. They are nicely plated.

So the big two questions. How old are these cuffs? And who made them? I have heard a variety of opinions, from British made in the 1840's to Indian made in the 1940s.

My own guess is late 19th or early 20th century Indian. The plating on the New Zealand example looks 20th century. Most British made cuffs have the makers name.

Can anyone help identify these intereting cuffs?



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