The Baker Street Bazaar

Posted: April 10, 2014 in London

 

The Baker Street Bazaar

Madame Tussaud at 42The famous exhibition of wax figures has a remarkable history. Madame Tussaud was taken, by her mother, to Bern in Switzerland from Strasbourg after the death of her father in the Seven Year War. Here she was employed by Dr Phillippe Curtius , a physician, who was well-known for his anatomical wax models.  He moved to Paris and took his young apprentice with him (she was only 6 years old). Her very first wax model was of Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1778 and she began showing a remarkable talent. By the time she was 17 she became the art tutor to King Louis XVI’s sister, Madame Elizabeth, at the Palace of Versailles.

Madame Tussauds

During the French Revolution she was imprisoned for 3 months awaiting execution, but was released due to the intervention of an influential friend.  To show her allegiance to the Revolution Madame Tussaud was forced to make death masks of the aristocracy who had been guillotined (which included the King and Marie Antoinette). The masks were put on spikes and placed in the Place de la Concorde for display.After the death of her mentor, who left her all his masks and waxworks, Tussaud decided to start a new life across the waters in England in the early 1800s.

The Baker Street Bazaar.

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