No. 462
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
February 24, 2020

A Ghastly Table.

June 5, 2012
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Ramendra Narayan Roy, in the days when no one questioned that he was alive. One of the most famous court cases of the 19th century revolved around Arthur Orton’s years-long campaign to prove that he was, in fact, Sir Roger Tichborne, a wealthy young man who had disappeared in a presumed shipwreck many years before. As strange (and protracted) as the whole Tichborne matter was, it was
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Strange Company - 2/24/2020

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"Denver's Oldest Bar" matchbook cover outside cover - A (Click image to enlarge) new addition to my collection A matchbook cover from "Denver’s Oldest Bar" is a new acquisition to my private Soapy Smith collection. Though it is a "modern" item from the 1960s-70s, it has a direct link to Soapy Smith. "Denver’s Oldest Bar" was once controlled by Soapy, under the name, "Tivoli Club,
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 2/7/2020

Fifty-nine years ago in February 1961, thousands of avid fans trudged through 20 inches of snow to Carnegie Hall to see comedian Lenny Bruce—in a show that was recorded and released in a three-record set, The Carnegie Hall Concert. This famous show, “was the moment that an obscure yet rapidly rising young comedian named Lenny […]
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Ephemeral New York - 2/23/2020
Beginning on January 1st, W&W will begin featuring fascinating short clippings from the Fall River papers and other newspapers from …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 12/29/2019
Nellie C. Bailey. William Dodson led a drive of 2300 head of sheep from Kansas through Indian Territory to their new home in Texas in October 1883. A mile behind them the owner of the new ranch, a widower named Clement Bothemly, and his sister Bertha traveled in a wagon outfitted with bedrooms. Pulled by two yoke of oxen, the wagon was so large that observers compared it to a railroad car.
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Murder By Gaslight - 2/22/2020

Second-century Christian bishop and martyr St. Polycarp of Smyrna has his feast day on February 23. Be sure to shout supplications loudly, as he’s the patron for earaches. Reputedly inducted into the mysteries by the Apostle John himself in the late first century, Polycarp was a consequential clergyman in the early church and a living […]
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Executed Today - 2/23/2020
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Street Arabs and Gutter-Snipes. | Kate Warne.

A Ghastly Table.

Ghastly Table New York, New York, 1887 - The horrible curiosity just imported form Italy by a prominent New York surgeon.

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A well-known New York surgeon has just imported form Florence, Italy, a table which for originality in the matter of construction and ghastliness in conception, is probably without rival. It was mad y Giuseppe Sagatti, who passed several years of his life in the manufacture. To the casual observer it gives the impression of a curious mosaic of marbles of different shades and colors, for it looks like a polished stone. In reality it is composed of human muscles and viscera. No less than a hundred bodies were requisitioned for the material. The table is round and about a yard in diameter, with a pedestal ad four claw feet, the whole being formed of petrified human remains. The ornaments of the pedestal are made from the intestines, the claws with hearts, livers and lungs, the natural color of which is preserved. The table top is constructed of muscles artistically arranged, and it is bordered with upward of a hundred eyes, the effect of which is said to be highly artistic, since they retain all their luster and seem to follow the observer. Sagetti died about fifty years ago. He obtained his bodies from the hospitals and indurated them by impregnation with mineral salts.


From The National Police Gazette, October 1, 1887