The Poire d'Angoisse, or Pear of Anguish, was a Renaissance-era torture device, deriving its name from its shape. It was inserted into either the mouth, rectum, or vagina, and could then be greatly expanded through the operation of a screw mechanism. This had the effect of utterly mutilating the cavity in question, tearing through membranes, bone, and organs. The tip of the Pear was often pointed, allowing the executioner to rip through the cervix, small intestine, or throat.
The Pear was used both to extract confessions as well as to punish. The nature of the crime often determined the manner in which the Pear was employed. It was used vaginally on prostitutes, adulterous wives, and women suspected of having intercourse with demons. Orally, it was used on heretical preachers or those convicted of slander. Rectally, it was reserved for male homosexuals.
The Pear was used by both civil and ecclesiastical authorities, and was especially popular with the Spanish Inquisition.