The guillotine, perfected in 1868

Guillotine Berger 1868

The Berger model Guillotine. Drawing in watercolour enhanced ink [around 1868]. Dim. 47,8 x 62 cm. Representation on a scale 1/10th with dimensions and legend, on BFK Rives.


Guillotine Berger 1868


Alphonse Léon Berger (1841-1906) was one of the assistants of the executor of Corsica. Gifted carpenter and cabinetmaker, he built a new machine in 1868, used in Agen and Algeria 1870 and used until the abolition of the death penalty in 1981.

This new guillotine was created to be easily dismantled and transported to the scene of an execution.


Guillotine Berger 1868


It was the beginning of the industrial revolution. So there are bolts, shock-absorbing springs for mouton stopping (mass on which the blade is attached), brass bearings in the mouton, complex steel parts such as the trigger mechanism and rails to guide the mouton.

On our drawing, the arrow is on the front of the mouton without a notch to the lunette so that it does not break down it during the fall. It would therefore be one of the very first prototypes of the model developed by Berger in 1868. The following models from 1870-71 will have the arrow on the back.

Pinhole at each corner, restored tear, one at a corner without impairing the drawing, the other to the right upright member, wetting.

Most striking drawing however.



We do not propose this document or to advocate for the death penalty, or to advocate for his recovery.