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Iron Torture Brand, Probably 17th C

From the collection of Fernand Meyssonnier and once featured in the Museum of Justice and Punishment in Fontaine de Vaucluse near Avignon, France, this branding iron retains its original copper museum inventory tag numbered "192". Forged iron, 14" long with twist decoration in the center of the shaft; the brand being attached by three bars to the shaft. The shaft has an open conical ferrule at one end and is mounted on a modern ash handle The brand itself is heart-shaped and likely depicts an apple with a stem, representing the original sin in the Garden of Eden and the fall of man. The biblical story is of Eve presenting the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to her husband Adam, enticing him to eat it. As a punishment brand it could have been for a woman being an accomplice to a man’s crime. Pitted, with patches of red rust. Overall length 23 ½".

Fernand Meyssonnier (1931-2008) was an executioner in French Algeria from 1947 to 1961 and executed over 200 convicted criminals by guillotine. He is the author of the book "An Executioner’s Tale" (French Text). His family has been linked to the executioner’s trade since the 16th Century. This exact branding iron is prominently featured on the internet when a search is conducted on Meyssonnier.

T1374m $695

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