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Astonishing celebrity artefacts: from Jim Henson's first Muppet to the gun that killed John Lennon

L-R: Jim Henson's first Muppet, Charlie Chaplin's cane, a paintbrush used by Andy Warhol
L-R: Jim Henson's first Muppet, Charlie Chaplin's cane, a paintbrush used by Andy Warhol Credit: Henry Leutwyler 

It was while on a magazine assignment to photograph guns impounded in the New York Police Department’s Forensic Investigations Division that Henry Leutwyler chanced upon the murder weapon that triggered a deeply personal 12-year project.

A police officer was showing him around when he spotted a revolver lying on a stool next to a newspaper clipping about John Lennon.

The gun used by David Mark Chapman to kill John Lennon, photographed by Henry Leutwyler

Realising that this was the weapon used to shoot down the former Beatle, Leutwyler expressed his surprise at the casual way in which it was displayed.

"Yeah, it’s just another gun that killed another dude," shrugged the sergeant.

But to Beatles fan Leutwyler, Lennon was not just "another dude". The musician was one of his all-time heroes.

Charlie Chaplin's shoes, photographed by Henry Leutwyler

Leutwyler had long been urged to publish a collection of the celebrity portraits for which he is best known. His shots of Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg et al appear...

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