'Working' French guillotine demands $83,000 estimate in Paris

A working guillotine dating from the second French revolution will be sold at Talma in France on March 27.

The last person to be executed by guillotine in France was Hamida Djandoubi, a murderer condemned to death in 1977

The deadly beheading device is commonly associated with the bloody 1789 French Revolution, in which many members of Paris' aristocracy were decapitated. This rare example dates to the second French revolution of 1848.

Valued at $69,000-83,000, the blade is inscribed "Armees de la Republique", the name given to the force created during the first revolution, which was designed to protect the weakened France from its neighbours.

The second French uprising was the result of a wave of revolution that spread across Europe in February 1848. King Louis Philippe was overthrown, marking the end of the Orleans monarchy, and the French Second Republic was established, with Louis Napoleon - later Napoleon III - named as the president.

However, Napoleon III couldn't resist the call of his bloodline and suspended the elected assembly in 1871, establishing the Second French Empire in its wake.

The guillotine was bought by the current owner's great-grandfather in the early 20th century, and has remained in his family ever since.

Another French auction house was due to sell Napoleon's death shirt in Fontainebleau last week, but the item was withdrawn prior to the sale.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a strand of hair from Napoleon for sale.

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