Lot 450

'I am Jack the Ripper' card

Description:

I am Jack the Ripper' card. The card measures 2.75 inches by 4.75 inches and is written in ink. The condition of the card is good for its age. The card was posted to Ealing Police Station and received on the 29th of October 1888. It has been in the police Ripper files until they decided the case was finally closed, because no one would ever know the identity of the Ripper. It was given to the vendor's husband, a Police Constable and member of the Metropolitan Police Force as a memento for his retirement from the force in 1966. Unwanted items were simply thrown away. One officer found and kept 300 such documents, which he has now given to the National Records Office who deface them with a stamp. The PC kept the card in a drawer until his death, where it has remained with his widow.

The card was received by the Ealing Police station and added to the large file concerning Jack the Ripper. The card states, ''Beware there is two women I want here they are bastards, and I mean to have them my knife is still in good order it is a students knife and I hope you liked the kidney. I am Jack the Ripper.'' The front has a pencil date 29th October 88 stating when the card was received by the Ealing Police Station as well as a somewhat illiterate attempt to send it to the right person, please see the images.

There are some interesting facts about this letter. The date is really quite interesting. Mary Jane Kelly, the last of the canonical five, was murdered on November 9th, 1888, eleven days after the card was received. The canonical five are the women most agree were murdered by the Ripper, though some disagree. The fifth image of the murder victims is the horribly disembowelled body of Mary Kelly. There is mention of his 'students' knife in our card. Some believe that the Ripper had some medical training from the way he cut up his victims, but this is not universally accepted. The kidney that was mentioned also appears in the 'Letter from Hell' another Ripper letter, where the writer stated he had fried one of his victim's kidneys and 'it tasted nice.' Our card is definitely of the period and has police provenance.

Many theories have been produced for the identity of Jack the Ripper from royalty to suspicious locals and even suggesting the painter Walter Sickert, who unfortunately for the theorist was in Dieppe at the time visiting his mistresses.

The most unusual aspect of our card is its rarity. No such card with police provenance has been offered for sale at auction. Other letters and cards were sent to fulfill the egos of various people, but are in files or lost. We have consulted the Ripper Museum and the White Chapel Society. Stewart Evans, the author of a book on the Ripper letters and the world expert on the matter has also given his opinion that our card is right for the period and is one of the letters the police received. The great beauty of the card is that with its police provenance it is a unique Ripper item for sale, and no one can prove it is the Ripper himself, but equally no one can prove it is not.

There are images of the Canonical Five. In the following numerical order: 1. Mary Anne Nicholls, 2. Annie Chapman, 3. Elizabeth Stride, 4. Catherine Eddoes - Two images of contemporary drawings of her body in Mitre Square where she was murdered and a drawing of her dreadful mutilations at the hands of the Ripper, 5. Mary Jane Kelly - the only victim murdered in her room, all the others were outside. The Ripper had more time inside and committed dreadful butchery on her body including partly skinning her.

Continued...

To read the full lot description, click on 'Blog' at the top of the page, click on the 'I am Jack the Ripper' blog and scroll to the bottom.

Auction Date: April 2018

Estimate:

£600 - £900

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