Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Scold's Bridle

A scold's bridle was an implement of torture and humiliation used on women. It was an iron cage-like muzzle with a "curb-plate", a bit about 2 inches long which projected into the mouth and pressed down on top of the tongue. The "curb-plate" was frequently studded with spikes, so that the tongue could not be moved without sustaining serious injury. Wives who were seen as shrews and scolds were forced to wear the scold's bridle. It was locked on and sometimes adorned with bells or animal-like embellishments to draw greater humiliation.

My fine lady with a scold's bridle is holding a shrew and standing next to a vase of ranunculus. I usually employ a lot of symbolism, but I just picked ranunculus this time because I like them.

No comments: