Iron chastity belt, Europe, 1501-1600

Made:
1501-1600 in Europe
maker:
Unknown
Iron chastity belt with red velvet lining, possibly 16th century.  View of whole object on balck background Iron chastity belt with red velvet lining, possibly 16th century.  View of whole object on balck background

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Iron chastity belt with red velvet lining, possibly 16th century. View of whole object on balck background
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Iron chastity belt with red velvet lining, possibly 16th century. View of whole object on balck background
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Iron chastity belt with padlock and key, not original, possibly 16th century

Red velvet lining gives some comfort for the wearer of this hinged, metal chastity belt. The heavy belt is locked with a key. It is thought chastity belts were invented in the Middle Ages to prevent women having sexual intercourse. However, recent arguments suggest they are nothing more than Victorian myths. Documentation connected with this object claims it may date from the 1500s, but more likely it was made in the 1800s.

This iron chastity belt is decorated with a flower design and a heart pierced with arrows. The padlock that is associated with it is not the original one.

Details

Category:
Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Contraception
Object Number:
A641274
Materials:
iron and velvet
type:
chastity belt