I assumed that the right hand was behind the "cuff" with thumb pointing
down on the side and the index finger on the top crossing over the top of
the plane and that the relieve on the wedge was for chafing relief of the
wrist or forearm against the wedge. With the left hand forward of the top
I'm thinking that if the user was right-handed, his left small finger was up
against the "cuff" with the web of his rather large hand on the wedge.
Look at the relief on the left side of the wooden wedge in the second and
third photos. (It does not show up well in the first photo.)
IMHO, this relief is too distinct to be mere wear from heavy use. Its a
place to rest the web of one's left hand.
We know it was used a lot because of the patch in the sole. (BTW, isn't that
the most ornate throat-closing patch you've ever seen? ) This was somebody's
Have we considered the possibility that the user was a lefty? Or, that he
lost a hand in the Napoleonic wars ?