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Scold’s bridle mask which partially covers face, large nose-piece and jagged mouth, hinged neck ring and bell suspended at top of head, probably German, 1550-1800.
This item is one of the more disturbing objects in Henry Wellcome’s collection. A ‘Scold’s bridle’ is a fearsome looking mask which fits tightly on to the head. A scold was defined as a “rude, clamorous woman”. The bridle was used as a punishment for women considered to be spending too much time gossiping or quarrelling. Time spent in the bridle was normally allocated as a punishment by a local magistrate.
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