Tayside and Central Scotland

Dundee 'drunkard' mugshots sell for £1,500 at auction

Alice Rooney drunk form Image copyright Curr and Dewar
Image caption Auctioneers hope the folio of pictures could raise hundreds of pounds

A collection of mugshots dating back to 1905, which warned publicans of drunken Dundonians, has sold for £1,500.

The folio of forms was issued to local landlords warning them not to serve the pictured people, who had been convicted of being drunk and incapable.

Forms note "riotous behaviour" by the barred drinkers, with physical descriptions including "awanting a left eye" and "wanting teeth".

The folio sold at auction for almost 10 times its original listed price.

The forms list the name, address and occupation of the pictured miscreants, most of whom are female millworkers, many of them Irish immigrants.

The collection of 40 forms was entrusted to publican John Kennedy of Polepark Road, warning him against selling alcohol to the people listed.

Image copyright Curr and Dewar
Image caption The forms were distributed to publicans warning them not to serve the pictured people

Among them was fish dealer John Boyd, a 46-year-old of "proportionate" build, with a "fresh" complexion, who was convicted at Dundee's police court after he was found "in a state of intoxication and unable to look after himself" on 13 November 1905.

Under "peculiarities or marks", the report notes "left eye awanting".

Also marked was 16-year-old Margaret Devannah, a mill worker at the Queen Victoria Works, who was recognisable for having several tattoos.

She was convicted at the police court on 29 June 1905 of "behaving while drunk in a riotous or disorderly manner".

Image copyright Curr and Dewar
Image caption The Dundonians pictured are mainly working class, tenement dwelling mill workers

Steven Dewar of auctioneers Curr and Dewar said he had never come across anything like the book of forms before.

"It's a bit of a sad thing, really, but it's part of the way of life as it was back in 1905 in Dundee," he said.

"It was given to me by a family of publicans who have had it in the family for a number of years.

"The youngest girl in it is 16 and the oldest is 63 - they're working-class tenement dwellers, pedlars, fish sellers, but mostly mill workers, which obviously was the big thing in Dundee at the time.

"It was hard to know how to value it. We listed it with an estimate of between one and two hundred pounds but there's been so much interest."

Several phone bidders joined the auction in Dundee, which Robert Wightman eventually won with a bid of £1,500.

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