Working French guillotine expected to fetch thousands at auction

The guillotine awaiting auction in Nantes
The guillotine awaiting auction in Nantes AFP PHOTO/Damien Meyer

A 19th century guillotine, still in perfect working order, is to be auctioned in France on Thursday and is expected to fetch up to 60,000 euros. 


The wood, iron, steel and brass guillotine will be auctioned on Thursday in the western city of Nantes and auctioneer Francois-Xavier Duflos said it was expected to fetch between 50,000 and 60,000 euros.

"It is rare for this type of object to go to auction, so it is rather difficult to set a price, but we have taken into account its rarity," he said. "It would be nice if it remained in a historic setting, either on display in a chateau or in a public collection,"

The guillotine has been in private hands for over a century and the current owner had it passed down to him from his grandfather, who apparently bought it in the early 20th century.

The blade of the guillotine bears the inscription "Armées de la Republique," a revolutionary force created to defend France from its neighbours after the 1789 French Revolution.

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