Think of a wax museum and the first thing that comes to mind is Madam Tussauds.
Thus famous wax museum has become a major tourist attraction in countries. In Asia, you’ll find a Madam Tussauds in mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Singapore and Thailand.
The life-size wax figures in Madam Tussauds all seem so real. But what is even more interesting is the history behind the museum’s waxworks.
According to History, some of the original wax figures were actually created from decapitated heads at the time of their deaths.
Madame Marie Tussaud was a talented wax artist from France. The Royal family loved her works so much they invited her to live at the Versailles Palace for nine years.
During the Reign of Terror in 1793, she was arrested and faced execution by guillotine. She had to prove her loyalty to the French Revolution by using her talent to create death masks of beheaded nobles including her former employers: King Louis XVI & Queen Marie Antoinette.
Death masks are wax casts of the deceased made after their deaths. After execution, the decapitated heads were brought to Tussaud who would hold the bloody head between her knees as she created the death mask.
After the French Revolution, Tussaud gathered her waxworks and moved to London where she established her first permanent exhibition at the Baker Street Bazaar. She had a separate room called “The Chamber of Horrors” which housed her infamous French Revolution death masks. The main attraction of the exhibit was a functioning guillotine with the actual blade that beheaded Marie Antoinette attached. Tussaud bought the blade from the executioner.
Each Madam Tussauds wax museum has this Chamber of Horrors. But after 180 years since its dark debut, the Chamber of Horrors closed its doors on April 2016 following complaints from families with young children.
Having known of its dark history, you will now appreciate Madam Tussauds in a different light.
If you've ever been freaked out by Madame Tussauds wax figures, knowing the history of her business will make you even cringe more.
Posted by HISTORY on Wednesday, 30 May 2018