A 17th century book believed to be bound in the skin of a priest executed for treason appears to bear a "spooky" image of his face on the cover, auctioneers said today.
The account of the death of Gunpowder Plot conspirator Father Henry Garnet is described by experts as "rare and macabre".
Sid Wilkinson, from Wilkinson's Auctioneers in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, who will be selling the book on Sunday, said he could see the Jesuit priest's face peering out from the cover.
He said: "It's a little bit spooky because the front of the book looks like it has the face of a man on it, which is presumed to be the victim's face."
Lot number 181 is so unusual that there is no reserve price attached to it.
A True And Perfect Relation Of The Whole Proceedings Against The Late Most Barbarous Traitors, Garnet A Jesuit And His Confederates was printed by Robert Barker, printer to the king, and published in 1606, only months after Garnet's execution.
Garnet's involvement in the plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament was controversial. He claimed he knew about the conspiracy but was not involved.
Some scholars now believe that he was most likely trying to prevent the action against James I rather than conspiring against him.
But Garnet was found guilty of treason and executed in May 1606. The king ordered his hanging but he was spared the cruelty of being drawn and quartered.
According to legend, a piece of bloodstained straw found at the scene of his execution started to develop an exact image of the priest's face, which auctioneers now believe has happened to the centuries-old book.
Mr Wilkinson, who will sell the book in its wooden box, said: "There's nothing I can do about the poor victim now."