Anonymous - Photographs London Wednesday, May 18, 2016 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Serge Plantureux, Paris

  • Catalogue Essay

    Police photography – the mugshot – began in the 1840s, only a few years after the invention of photography. Invented by Alphonse Bertillon in 1888, these mugshots, taken both from the front and in profile to capture the unique configuration of the subject’s ear, were used for identification by victims and crime investigators.

    The present lot, a unique collection of nineteen mugshots, brings together some of the greatest names of the criminal underworld in France in the 1940s. Abel Danos and Emile Buisson were members of the famous Front Wheel Drive Gang operating in Paris in the late 1930s. This tight group implemented the first French train robbery in 1936 and the largest French bank robbery in 1941 from Credit Lyonnais in Troyes, stealing over 1.8 million francs. Their portraits are presented alongside their collaborators and accomplices, including Raymond Naudy and Carmela Esposito.


Collection of Criminal Mugshots

Nineteen gelatin silver prints, one mounted to a police record, printing dates unknown.
Varying sizes from approximately 5.7 x 8.1 cm (2 1/4 x 3 1/4 in.) to 10.2 x 12.4 cm (4 x 4 7/8 in.) or the reverse.
Variously annotated in an unidentified hand in pencil or ink on the recto and verso.

£2,000 - 3,000 

Sold for £2,500

Contact Specialist
Genevieve Janvrin
Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7318 4092


London Auction 19 May 2016