Torture devices from 16th century on sale

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For sale soon: a variety of torture devices from the 16th century, including shame masks to enforce silence, a 14-foot table-like rack to stretch the victim's body, and a tongue tearer to punish blasphemers and heretics. Even an executioner's sword.

New York's Guernsey's auction house plans to auction the privately owned collection, with proceeds to go to Amnesty International and other organizations committed to preventing torture in today's world, said Guernsey's president, Arlan Ettinger. "That is clearly the seller's intent," he said.

Ettinger described the items Wednesday as possibly the world's most extensive collection of historical torture devices — some 252 items — plus rare books, documents and other related artifacts.

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