As you can see, it is a scene of domestic discipline very clearly depicted. My research into this gem reveals it was a satirical commentary on 'marital bliss'. Why post this? Because this weekend I will be hosting my annual backyard Ren-Faire! (Huzzah!) There will be live music and recorded music dating from the Renaissance all the way back to the the 1100's.
Most friends attend in costume and there are games and activities throughout. (Shoot the apple off the dummy's head, or challenge a friend to a padded cudgel or stuffed sack battle atop a one foot wide balance beam. Don't be the one to get knocked off! ) There's a working miniature mangonel that launches tennis balls and two miniature .......but very effective trebuchets that can shoot a marble 25 yards, for those into siege weapons.
One staple of the event is a working stock for head and hands. Typically it is used for photo-ops.......and also as the penalty for losers in the many challenge/duels declared through the day. No one has ever been spanked while in the stocks.......but it's not prohibited. Maybe I should hang a paddle from a hook on it to allow for the opportunity? From the plate above, the idea would be "period accurate". Given the openness and humor with which spanking is currently received, I may just do it, though the odds are if anyone ends up spanked in the stocks......it will probably be me.