These are photos of the wax head mold depicting Marie Antoinette just hours after she was beheaded on October 16th of 1793. This was made by the morbidly famous Madame Tussauds, a woman who became wealthy and famous by taking wax molds of the deceased – particularly those who had just been beheaded. Where other artists could say that they’d made dioramas which mimicked what they had seen, Tussaud could say that she alone had the privilege of casting the dead person’s actual head right after their death. Yeah, it’s safe to say that she was a big deal.
Tussaud also made a wax cast of William Burke’s head just 3 hours after his execution in 1829. He and his partner, William Hare, were famous murderers and grave robbers/body snatchers. Since Hare was not executed, he turned king’s evidence on Burke, Tussaud never got to do a real wax head of him. Still, her son did create one anyways, just to go along with Burke’s.
Madame Tussauds wax museum is a popular tourist attraction, if you’re ever in London check it out – and take some pics for me! They’ve also opened museums in Hong Kong, Amsterdam, las Vegas, Bangkok, Hollywood, New York, Washington DC, and Sydney.
I would love to write something in depth about Marie Antoinette’s life and the time period, it is on the list.