This very rarely found, 19th century, iron, hand-forged, Child SLAVE Rattle Shackle measures a diminutive 2 3/4" high x 2 1/2" wide. The interior diameter is only a tiny 2 inches wide, and thus able only to fit the wrist of a very young or tiny-framed child. This came from the collection of a Charleston, South Carolina, collector who purchased the artifact years ago out of a Charleston area estate that was once a thriving rice plantation in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The sides of the rattle shackle are constructed of lateral “pockets” each containing one small, iron orb that would “rattle” when the wearer would move about.
Because this particular type of rattle shackle does not have iron loops or openings to “thread” iron chain through, it would have been attached to the ankle or wrist of a very young “house slave” who worked strictly inside the plantation house and thus was under very close supervision by the plantation owner and/or family members.
All original and untouched, an utterly horrible, tangible testament to the malevolence of slavery. A VERY RARE form of rattle shackle, even more particularly so due to its very small size!
Additionally, de-accessioned from the Middle Passage Museum is an ultra-rare set of 19th Century Slave Ship Shackles from a New Orleans, Louisiana, former slave trader estate! Please type the word "shackles" in the search box on our home page to find all sets of shackles currently being offered.