01 Dec 2007

Anthropodermic Book Associated with Gunpowder Plot to be Auctioned Tomorrow

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Wilkinson’s Auctioneers in Doncaster will be selling in tomorrow’s auction a book believed to be bound in the skin of FatherHenry Garnet, a Jesuit priest convicted of high treason in connection with his knowledge of Guy Fawkes’ conspiracy to blow up the Houses of Parliament and assassinate King James I. Garnet was executed by hanging May 3, 1606.

Blood-stained straw from Garnet’s execution came into the hands of Catholic sympathisers who reported that it had congealed into a portrait of the deceased Jesuit. This relic was preserved by the Jesuit Order at Liège until the time of the French Revolution. The story of the image of Garnet’s face in blood-stained straw was, at some point, also associated with this volume allegedly bound in his skin.

BBC news.

Lot 181 A Rare & Macabre Early 17th Century Anthropodermic Bound Book in carrying box. The book entitiled; ‘A True and Perfect Relation of The Whole Proceedings against the Late most barbarous Traitors, Garnet a Jesuit and his Confederats’; Printed London 1606 by Robert Barker, printer to the King and believed to be bound in human skin, possibly that of the aforementioned Jesuit Priest; Father Henry Garnet. The box having a rectangular handle to the centre with the corners having clusters of brass stud flowers, and the front having an iron clasp and lockplate, 11 ins x 7½ ins x 5 ins (28 cms x 19 cms x 13 cms).

Another Anthropodermic binding, posted 07 Jan 06.


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