Child's ankle support, iron, Italian, 16th century
The ankle and foot are supported by this iron ‘shoe’. It was made for a small child. The shoe is hinged at the front. This allows the child to step into the ankle support. The upper casing is then lowered and secured around the ankle. Supports such as this may have been used to straighten feet damaged due to injury, skeletal deformity or disease such as rickets. Rickets is a lack of minerals and vitamins causing the limbs to become twisted and bent.