Tuesday 29 April 2014

Auctioneer pulls child’s blood-stained tunic

The things people collect:
The small child’s leather tunic has fringe along the arms and torso, and the neck is embroidered with beads in purple, pink and turquoise. But what really grabs the eye is the jagged bullet hole in the centre of the chest, and the large stain of dried blood on the back. Till Monday noon, this gruesome Plains Indian artifact was on show at the galleries of Waddington’s, the Toronto auction house, which planned to sell it during a decorative arts auction on Tuesday evening. It was abruptly pulled from the sale after social media began to heat up with complaints [...]. The tunic’s full provenance is unknown, as are the exact circumstances of the shooting. [...] The items at Waddington’s came from the estate of William Jamieson, a collector and dealer of often macabre artifacts who at one time owned the Niagara Falls Museum. The tunic was displayed in a cabinet next to a number of executioners’ blades, with an electric chair at the room’s opposite end.
Robert Everett-Green, ' Waddington’s pulls child’s blood-stained tunic from auction gallery ', The Globe and Mail Tuesday, Apr. 29 2014.

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