Photographs of Historical Oddities from Wax Hands to a Witch-Hunter’s Manual

Thom-Aitkinson photographyPair of Wax Hands, c1950

I envy Thom Aitkinson for having had the privilege to take these pictures of some of the extraordinary items found in the Wellcome Institute. They make me think that the riproaring world of Tin Tin has come to life; I mean here is a pair of actual fakir’s sandals! I dread to think what a rectal tobacco resuscitator is (those three words shouldn’t really appear together in a sentence let alone describe a real object).

Thom-Aitkinson photographyFakir’s Sandals, 1871

Thom-Aitkinson photographyPair of Chinese Shoes for Bound Feet, 1870

Thom-Aitkinson photographyEuropean Executioner’s Mask, pre 1700

Thom-Aitkinson photographyPreserved Tattoos, 19th Century

Thom-Aitkinson photography“Malleus Maleficarum” Witch-hunter’s Manual, 1494

Thom-Aitkinson photographyRectal Tobacco Resuscitator, 18th Century

Thom-Aitkinson photographyMerman, 19th Century

Thom-Aitkinson photographyAssorted Amputation Saws

This post was contributed by Sophie Chapman-Andrews, Head of Art Buying at McCann London


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  • samuraiantiqueworld

    The picture labeled as “European executioner’s mask, pre 1700” is actuall a Japanese mask worn by samurai warriors, it is called a “somen”, it has nothing to do with Europe or executions.

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