cutpurses and stanchions

When I first read this part in A Dance With Dragons from A Song of Ice and Fire series, I had this image in my head (the quick sketch that is on the right).

But as I look up the word stanchion and George RR Martin about “the severed hands…hung like strings of onions” I realized what I had in mind was all wrong.

Either way, the very idea is morbid but I guess a good way to deter cutpurses-which I found out is another word for pickpockets!

stan·chion [stan-shuhn] Show IPA
noun
1. an upright bar, beam, post, or support, as in a window, stall,ship, etc.
verb (used with object)
2. to furnish with stanchions.
3. to secure by or to a stanchion or stanchions.


Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English stanchon < Old French estanchon, equivalent to estanche (variant of estance, probably < Vulgar Latin*stantia, equivalent to Latin stant– (stem of stāns ), present participleof stāre to stand + -ia -y3 ) + -on noun suffix
Quote:
At the bridge’s center span, the severed hands of thieves and cutpurses hung like strings of onions from iron stanchions along the roadway. – Tyrion from A Dance With Dragons
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