The Thorn Punch

All the weapons used by the Apaches in Paris are unique, but none are more ingenious than these curious rings and the device known as the “thorn punch”. The latter, held as shown in the illustration and delivered with a hard, straight blow, would drop a man as if hit by a sledge. The rings, however, are more subtle, as they appear to be nothing more than ordinary finger adornments with the exaggerated settings or heads often worn by fad extremists, but hidden within the hand is an extension. This rests against the palm when the fist is doubled and adds much force to the blow.

~ Popular Mechanics, June 1911

Previously on Criminal Wisdom:
The Trick Of Father Francois
The Apache Revolver

See also:
The Lost Golden Age of Mixed Martial Arts - Part III: Sherlock Holmes, Les Apaches, and the Gentlemanly Art of Self Defence.

Title page of Le Petit Journal (20 October 1907) “The Apache is the sore of Paris. More than 30,000 prowlers against 8,000 city policemen.”
Les Apaches (French: [a.paʃ]) were members of a Parisian Belle Époque underworld subculture. Apaches were so called because their alleged savagery was compared with that attributed by Europeans to the Native American tribes of Apaches.

The Apache Revolver

The Apache Revolver is the Swiss Army knife of guns. Designed in the early 1900’s by the french gang Les Apaches this weapon was easily concealed and it is said that one bullet would always be left out of the chamber so as to not shoot yourself while it was in your pocket. Its range was very limited due to its lack of a barrel but it was an effective tool due to everything it could do, this weapon could shoot, cut and hit and could be easily folded up and placed in your pocket. Sheer Genius.”
~ Brotherhood Of Thieves

The “Coup de Pere Francois” ( or “The Shot Of Father Francis”) was a form of robbery performed by street thugs in Paris in the early 1900’s. Two thieves would approach the mark, one engaging the target while the other slipped behind him. Correctly positioned, the second thug would throw a silk handkerchief over the target’s head and immediately pivot so the two would now be back to back. Then, holding the two ends of the handkerchief at the height of his shoulders, the thug would bend forward essentially garroting the unsuspecting citizen.

“The more the thug bent forward the more he pulled his victim backward-backward on the thug’s back, sprawling there as in a barber’s chair, with his feet off the ground and his arms tossing aimlessly-a quick case of spinal curvature. Reclining helplessly on the thug’s back, lifted bodily form the sidewalk, with all the blood of his body throbbing in his cranium, he felt the other robber going calmly through his pockets. He remembers that the rogue in front then pulled his arms out straight with one hand; and then he lost consciousness. When he came to he was lying in the shadow of some bushes with a strained neck, but not otherwise damaged. ”

from National Police Gazette, October 21, 1905, p. 3
Via The Journal Of Manly Arts


Maurice Delage (1879-1961)

Quatre poèmes hindous (1912-13)

III. Bénarès.  “Naissance de Bouddha”

Janet Baker and Melos Ensemble

A miniature masterpiece, not sure which I like more… this one or the 2nd mvmt. ( Anne Sofie von Otter’s version is waaaay better)