This item was used both as a punitive and an interrogational device. Punitively, it was used red-hot to mark the breast of unmarried mothers. In an inquisitory nature it was used on condemned women – convicted of heresy, blasphemy, adultery, self-induced abortion, erotic white magic and any other crime that the inquisitors selected. The claws were used, either cold or heated, on a female’s exposed breasts – rendering them into bloody pulps.
A variation was called the Spider. This consisted of clawed bars which protruded from the wall. A woman was pulled alongside the bars until her breasts were torn away.
Trivia & Comment
The Rippers somewhat resemble the iron tongs used for carrying large blocks of ice.