|This model is a 1/6 scale reproduction of the guillotine used in colonial Sénégal in the early 1900s. This guillotine appears to be a cousin to the one from Ile Nou in Caledonia (See picture on History page). It is a 1792 style machine with a somewhat lightweight wood construction, probably built between 1830 and 1860. It is mounted on a rolling frame so it could be moved without being disassembled. This may have been added after the scaffold was abolished by law in November 1870. The photo on the left was taken during the execution of Burame-Kandé on February 25th, 1899. It was the first guillotine execution in Saint-Louis, Senegal. Burame had been convicted of the premeditated murder of his former employer, who had fired him a few days earlier.|
The blade shown on the right is claimed to have belonged to a guillotine discovered on Gorée Island, near Dakar, after Sénégal became independent in 1960. The execution photo was taken in Saint-Louis, capital of the French Western African colonies before Dakar. It is somewhat unlikely that two guillotines would have been in use within the relatively small colony of Sénégal so the origin of the blade is most probably the machine shown on the left.
The model was built for Guido Varesi, the current owner of the blade.
|The model is constructed as a standard 1794 model guillotine which is bolted to a separate rectangular rolling frame. The photo on the right shows the machine sitting beside the support frame. The frame rolls on 4 wood wheels outfitted with metal rims for wear. The 1,000 pound device needed a heavy support frame that probably also served as a stabilizing structure on a machine originally designed to be bolted to a scaffold.|
Other special features on this model, include modern spring shocks, a steel mouton with brass rollers, metal lined tracks, a metal-lined lunette and a zinc head tub copied on the one seen in the original picture. Most of the features are based on speculation, since there is no historical information on this guillotine other than the picture above.
|Details of the model above and below show the rolling frame, the bascule with the leather straps dating back to 1792, the hook and ring used to store the rope, the steel mouton with its release system, and the spring stops designed to look like they were add-ons to a guillotine originally designed without them.|