Reopening ‘The Ripper’ case?

The airtight, velvet-lined, mahogany and brass-bound case, made by Weiss of The Strand, London, now contains only a bone saw with a broken blade

The airtight, velvet-lined, mahogany and brass-bound case, made by Weiss of The Strand, London, now contains only a bone saw with a broken blade

Sat, Apr 19, 2014, 00:00

A 19th-century surgeon’s instruments’ case which has turned up at Sheppard’s auction house has a possible link to the infamous “Jack the Ripper” series of murders that traumatised Victorian London.

The airtight, velvet-lined, mahogany and brass-bound case, made by Weiss of The Strand, London, now contains only a bone saw with a broken blade.

A brass plaque on the lid is engraved with the name of Frederick Chapman – a doctor in London who died in 1888, the year in which an unknown serial killer murdered five women in the city’s Whitechapel area.

The murders attracted unprecedented media attention and one of England’s biggest ever police investigations but the killer was never apprehended. Some of the victims had been mutilated in a manner which led detectives to believe that the killer had surgical and anatomical skills.

Chapman was one of many men, albeit with no hard evidence, whose name was linked to the crimes which are still the subject of speculation and debate.

The case will be auctioned later this month at Sheppard’s three-day sale in Durrow and has an estimate of €800-€1,200.

Antique surgical cases and other items of medical equipment are surprisingly collectible. In 2012, a 19th-century Irish surgeon’s amputation set at a Mealy’s auction attracted significant interest and sold for €6,200 – more than 17 times the estimate.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.