Unusual Michael Collins 'Wanted' poster dating back to 1920 goes viral
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Unusual Michael Collins 'Wanted' poster dating back to 1920 goes viral

WANTED: A man with a strong jaw, strong physique and a boyish smile.

You'd be forgiven for thinking this comes from the Lonely Hearts section of a local paper-- and an oddly picky one at that-- but it is in fact an official poster from Irish police searching for the fugitive Michael Collins.

In 1920, Michael Collins had already established himself as an Irish revolutionary, having fought in the 1916 Easter Rising and serving as Minister for Finance in the first Dáil.

He was seen as a huge threat to British Rule in Ireland-- so much so that the Irish police service issued a Wanted poster offering £10,000 pounds for information leading to his capture,

£10,000 pounds is already a lot, but in today's money it would be worth almost half a million.

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It's clear that Michael Collins was a wanted man-- but judging by the description in the poster, he was 'wanted' in more ways than one.

""Height 5' 11''," the poster reads. "Complexion fresh, age 28 years".

Seems normal enough so far, but immediately afterwards comes the sentence: "Strong jaw, dark brown hair which hangs in a kiss curl over grey blue eyes".

"Strong physique. Boyish smile." And then, almost as an afterthought, "Dangerous".

The Wanted poster for revolutionary Michael Collins, available to purchase from SonnaArts.com)

The poster goes on to say that the wanted man could be in "any number of disguises", such as a hat or cap.

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Master of disguise, that one.

It's a fascinating look into the way Wanted posters were written 99 years ago, but nobody is really surprised that the writer of the poster was taken in by the Cork man's "boyish smile"-- recently an online poll found voted Mr Collins to be Ireland's 'hottest historical hunk'.

The 99-year-old poster was recently re-popularised by Irish Twitter account @TheIrishFor, which posts about Irish culture and language and is well worth following.

If you'd like your own version of the Wanted poster for Ireland's hottest historical hunk, Sonna Arts, a company dedicated to making available fine copies of work from historical periods has the poster for sale on their website.

 

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