Original photograph of the Sacco and Vanzetti death masks, circa 1927
N.p. N.p., Circa 1927. Vintage photograph of the death masks of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, from the famed exhibition at the Stuyvesant Casino in August 1927. Mimeo snipe, annotations in holograph pencil and ink, and "Agence Trampus," "Lynx Agence," and a third stamp obscured by snipe, all on verso.
Italian immigrants, anarchists and atheists, Sacco and Vanzetti, were arrested in 1920 for the robbery and murder of a shoe company paymaster and guard, subsequently tried (on largely circumstantial evidence), convicted, denied appeals, and executed by electric chair on August 23, 1927. Their execution brought forth a storm of protest throughout the country and worldwide, the widely held consensus being they were innocent and were convicted for their radical beliefs and Italian heritage, not for the crimes.
Made by William Gropper after their execution, the death masks were put on display in 1927 at the Stuyvesant Casino in New York, and drew throngs of thousands of sympathizers and mourners. The masks are currently being housed in the Rare Book Room at the Boston Public Library.
7 x 5 inches. Very Good plus, with light rippling, three small pinholes in left margin, and light soiling in top right margin.
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