The Tattoo Collectors. Inscribing Criminality in Nineteenth-Century France.
journal contributionposted on 24.09.2019, 09:36 by Gemma Angel
[First paragraph] In June 1929, an itinerant English purchasing agent named Peter Johnson-Saint met with one of his contacts in Paris, a Dr. La Valette, to finalise the sale of a collection of curious objects. Where exactly this meeting took place is not clear; the only reference to an address is recorded on an accession slip and simply reads “Rue Ecole de Medecine”.1 Of course, this particular street is significant since it is at the historic heart of Parisian medical studies, home to the Université Paris Descartes and the Musée Dupuytren. But whether or not Johnston-Saint was visiting a member of the medical faculty that day, or a man who occupied himself in private practice, is not (yet) certain. Johnston-Saint did however keep a record of his purchasing activities for his employer, including a brief description of the objects he acquired, given in his journal entry for Saturday June 15th: