In West Flanders, during the 1500s, criminals were punished symbolically by being obliged to have cast in metal a copy of the hand they used to commit some act of violence.
Adriaen Bra was a fisherman who was convicted of assaulting the servant of the bailiff with a knife. He had won the knife playing dice with the Pub owner Pieter Ritssaerss. But Ritssaerss wagered the knife on the condition that the knife’s new owner would take it and use it to “cloppen” the bailiff and his minions. Ritssaerss evidently had a score to settle.
Adriaen Bra was the happy (and perhaps also drunk) winner. He kept his word and proceeded a week later to attack a servant of the bailiff with the knife. He was apprehended and sentenced to the making of the fist, and that was not the only punishment. He was banned from Walcheren for an interval of time, and if he came back earlier he would have to pay for it with his neck.
The judgment of Adriaen Bra is preserved in the archives of the tribunal of the city Veere roll of criminal cases from 1514 to 1552.