Provenance: Vernon Cross Esq.
Open: 3.5 inches diameter (leader end) or 4.5 inches diameter (restraining end)
Compact/Shut Length: 5.5 inches
Compact/Shut Width: 4 inches
Having an original added leather grip, this early leader aka a nipper or come along, is in fine order with the stamps of STEEL and HIATT clearly marked. The flower head motif on the hinge is a particularly desirable design feature, dating this piece as an early one of its kind.
The origins of Hiatt and Company Ltd. lie in the late eighteenth century, circa 1780, and made handcuffs, leg-irons, manacles and other devices to shackle humans for more than 200 years.
In 1818 Thomas Griffin Hiatt appears in the Wrightson Directory for the first time as a manufacturer of felon's irons and gate locks, located on Moor St. in Birmingham. Some time in the next few years Hiatt moved around the corner to 26 Masshouse Lane, where he manufactured felon's irons, gate lock, handcuffs, and horse and dog collars. The Hiatt Company remained at the 26 Masshouse Lane address, until the premises were destroyed by a World War II German bombing in 1941. The company shut its doors for the last time at its Birmingham workshops in 2008.
Hiatt handcuffs have now been re-branded under the Safariland name making this Hiatt restraint even more coveted.
This item was owned by Vernon Cross Esq. whose family ran a tea shop in Ely, Cambridgeshire and would exchange tea for interesting bygones.