Lot 120 (Garden, Natural History & Tribal Auction, 12th June 2018)
The Pierrepoint Collection, A collection of highly important crime memorabilia relating to Albert Pierrepoint , the last hangman in England, together with his father Henry comprising;, plaster casts of Pierrepoint’s face and both hands. The plaster casts have preserved an incredible level of detail whereby each facet of his countenance, each pore and wrinkle, are immortalised., Henry Pierrepoint’s execution book, 6.75in by 4.5in, include personal details of those hanged from 1 November 1901 to 14 July 1910. The prisoner’s name, age, height, weight and drop are documented., The sites of the executions, along with remarks, are also recorded. Remarks detailed the physical frame of the prisoners and calibre of their necks, for example: “very heavy body, ordinary neck; wirey, very thin neck; strong neck, little flabby”. , Albert Pierrepoint’s large execution ledger, 6in by 9.5in, is leather bound and embossed with his name, “A. Pierrepoint”. Like his father’s execution log, personal details are included, with some additional notes of some prisoners, such as: “the German, Dutch and Belgium spies; French Canadian; Jew; USA Negro; IRA; Cypriot; German POW; British Soldier, ” etc., From 29 December 1932 to 27 July 1955, hundreds of names are recorded. Among them, some notable names are listed, including Lord Haw-Haw, Ruth Ellis, Mahmood Hussein Mattan, Elizabeth Volkenrath and F. E. Hensmann., Also included is a delicate amber and ivory cigar holder which is in very good condition and measures 3.2in in length. It comes with its original leather, silver velvet-lined, case, 3.5in long, which has some age marks to its exterior clasp. The item belonged to Henry A. Pierrepoint, Albert’s father and British hangman., A silver watch chain worn by Albert, his father and his uncle (also a hangman), at hundreds of executions between 1900 and 1956 is also included. It measures 17in in length, including the silver bar., Documents and photographs relating to Pierrepoint’s term as executioner include: the “Memorandum of Conditions to which any Person acting as Executioner is required to conform”; a letter from the War Office; and photographs of the Pierrepoint men, Robert Fabian (Fabian of the Yard), John Ellis and JRH Robertson., The letter of thanks from the War Office refers to the case of Golby, Hensmann and Smith, three men who, in 1950, were charged with murdering an Egyptian night-watchman. Only Hensmann pulled the trigger, but all three were sentenced to death. The letter, 8in by 6.5in, written by Lieut-Colonel JRH Robertson, R.E. Assistant Adjutant General, reads:, ”Dear Mr Pierrepoint, I wish to convey my sincere thanks for your willing co-operation in the case of Hensmann, Smith and Golby. I hope you were well looked after in HELF and led (apart from business) an enjoyable trip”., No witnesses appeared in their two-day trial. No appeals were allowed and a plea to King George for clemency was ignored. This treatment greatly affected the troops serving in the Suez and they rioted. The executions took place in a secluded area in the desert, away from the hyped media attention., A note on the last recorded hangings betrays the awareness that the last ever execution would be of great significance. Rather than have one man stand as the last executioner, two hangings took place at the same time and date, so that the legacy would be split in two, perhaps to divide its potency., Provenance Christies, South Kensington 29th May 1992, The Forman Archive of Crime and Punishment, including the Albert Pierrepoint Collection. PFC Auctions, 12th December St Peter Port, Guernsey.
Sunday 10th June 10am-4pm
Monday 11th June 10am-4pm
Tuesday 12th June 10am-12.30
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