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BNPS_PlasterCastCriminalHeads_03.JPG
BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
Pic: ThomsonRoddick/BNPS<br />
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19th century plaster death mask head, of Francois Benjamin Courvoisier, murderer of Lord William Russell.<br />
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These disturbing Victorian plaster cast heads of notorious criminals are a far cry from today's bland mugshots of lowlifes.<br />
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Two of the heads have been identified as Benjamin Courvoisier, a serial killer in the mould of Jack the Ripper, and coachman Daniel Good who mutilated his pregnant mistress. <br />
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In total, nine heads were discovered at an outbuilding at a rural home just outside Penrith, Cumbria, which have now fetched almost £40,000 at auction. <br />
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Experts predicted the collection of heads would sell for £2,000  but Courvoisier's head alone went for £20,000.<br />
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Two of the heads were made by the famous British exponent of phrenology, James De Ville, who built a private museum of more than 5,000 specimens.