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Wooden torture chair with 12 steel blades, China, 1701-1900

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Despite its unpleasant associations, this chair is ornately decorated with foliage, scrolls and the heads of mythological sea monsters called Macara. It is made from wood with 12 steel blades in the arm, back and foot rests and seat. The chair is one of many torture instruments purchased by Henry Wellcome.

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Glossary: torture chair

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