Pachinger's Chastity Belt

Submitted by: Norbert

Hi Altairboy,

Please find enclosed a text that can perhaps be used on the web site together with a uuencoded jpeg image. In the title of the text it says with 2 illustrations but I only found one. It is something from the historical department of cb sciences.

note0925.jpg In 1904 an A.M. Pachinger from town of Linz in Austria published an article in the periodical "Antiquitaeten Rundschau" with the title "Der Keuschheits-Guertel" which is the German expression for chastity belt. This article was referred to in several papers so I tried to find it in the libraries. You fill in a form stating what you want as precisely as possible and than you just have to wait. After six weeks I got the copies! They found it in a library in Berlin. I was charged only a symbolic fee. If that's what they spend my taxes on I feel much better paying them.

In this article he writes about the up and downs of a collector, especially a collector of chastity belts. There are so few on the market and the demand is so big that there appear also a lot of forgeries. After that he tells the story how he got into the possession of a guaranteed genuine specimen:

It was in the summer of the year 1889, when I was visiting for a few days relations in a small town of Upper-Austria. From my days as a student I still knew the place that offered with his partially preserved town wall and towers a very attracting sight. My first walk in the morning guided me to a time honored small church, that lay some 10 minutes out of the town and was build about the middle of the XV. century. In the middle of the lonely graveyard there stands a Gothic Lux perpetua column beautifully hewn from stone the stone steps of which bear the date 1493.

In 1889 they started another restoration of the worn church and the high magistrate of the town decided to move the beautiful light column from the graveyard into the interior of the church to keep it from further damage in the rough winter months. Much to my displeasure I saw this happening as my loved column was laying in several pieces in the dew moistened grass. The sacristan K. was well known to me from former days, same as his assistant from which I only know that his name was Leopold and who with a lot of skill sketched old gravestones. These two men I noticed talking busily to a mason. And as I drew nearer they greeted me as an old acquaintance with a certain familiarity.

After some talk to and fro the old sacristan told me that during the foundation works for erecting the column in the church they had just found in a stone lined cavity resembling a kneading trough a very old lead coffin which they were in the process of opening in a corner of the cemetery. I was then already interested in everything antique and so I asked the three men to be allowed to witness the opening of the coffin. The lead coffin about 1.80m long was oxidized to a black gray and was without any letters or arms. The soldering and preservation was excellent.

Soon Leopold with a sharp chisel had cut of the lid all the way round. The lid with its prismatic form could be easily lifted off the lower part. Underneath the lid some yellow decaying wooden boards could be seen and after clearing them away - the corpse. This immediately awakened my fullest interest.

On top of the well preserved skull there rested a rich hair-do plaited like a crown of thick red blond hair. The body was dressed in a black brown gown of damast like silk. The hands crossed above the breast were in a sort of riding gloves from yellow brown decayed leather.

The magnificent set of teeth indicated a young person, the artistic hairdo and the heavy silk gown let us presume a noble lady. Carefully the corpse was lifted out of the coffin on the molded boards. Hereby I noticed that only the gown on the upper side was well preserved whereas the lower part on which the corpse lay looked all decayed and fallen apart. After the removal of the upper clothing layer we saw everywhere pieces of bones protruding between yellowish linen. While the sacristan carried away the lead coffin for safe keeping, as he said, we examined the skeleton a bit more closely.

We were astonished to find among the remains of the undergarments round the pelvic bones an iron ring which was several times separated through hinges. Fastened to this ring with two small padlocks that were almost eaten away by rust was an iron plate formed like the sole of a shoe. On the belt shaped ring rests of an old leather covering were visible that fell off at touch. At the back of the skeleton by the way in the area of the buttocks there was another similarly formed iron plate which proved to be badly damaged by rust since the corpse had decayed on top of it. The front plate formerly connected to this with a hinge was not only in a good state of preservation but still showed a hardly damaged upholstery on the inside.

When the sacristan finally came back and saw this finding he supposed it to be a peculiarly shaped truss and even I thought it to be a surgical bandage of at any rate very solid construction.

The three men wanted to throw the iron parts over the wall when the collector in me came up and I asked to be given the rusty bits as a souvenir for our treasure hunting. Doing this I acquired, to come to an end, a very interesting German chastity belt. Who the lady was that was buried under so peculiar circumstances I could never find out. Only a long time later did I discover that I possessed with these parts a chastity belt. My later research in archives after the name and station of the lady that was presumably buried around 1600 led to no results.

Many years ago a skilled expert properly cleaned and assembled the belt and so standing in its own glass box it is one of the most interesting pieces of my collection.

So, here is the story of the unexpected finding. Somebody cited this story as a proof that cb's were actually used and not just products of fantasy. In the rest of the article there is not much new information that is not already contained in some of your web pages. So I didn't bother to translate it. The collection of Herr Pachinger is referred to in More books and videos (German). If this "Sammlung Pachinger" still exists and if it is open to the public I do not know. Perhaps a reader in Austria can find that out and tell us.

By the way, I did find something about Pachinger's collection on the net. He also collected playing cards during the second part of the 19th century. At least this part of his collection survived and can now be seen in the Town Museum of Linz/Austria. What happened to the cb has yet to be discovered.

Kind regards

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