The Guillotine Blade of Marie Antoinette

The guillotine blade that beheaded Marie Antoinette

This guillotine blade on display at Madame Tussauds wax museum in London is believed to be the actual blade that beheaded French queen Marie Antoinette on October 16, 1793. It was purchased from the executioner’s family.

Marie Antoinette’s last words as she climbed onto the guillotine platform were “Pardon me sir, I meant not to do it” after accidentally stepping on her executioner’s foot.

Mummified Body Found in Chicago

Mummified body found in Chicago 1903

This information that comes with this photo states the mummified body pictured was unearthed in Chicago on Oct. 29th, 1903. It goes on to say the body was dug up in a gravel pit at 56th St and South Park Ave wrapped in carpet inside a long box. Murder was suspected, but the body was never identified.

I haven’t been able to dig up any more details to support the story.

Contortionist Leilani Franco Scores 3 Guinness World Records

Amazing contortionist Leilani Franco has received three world records in the 2014 Guinness Book of World Records for her amazing abilities. She now holds the records for the most full body revolutions maintaining a chest stand in one minute (25), the fastest human backbend walk (20 meters in 10.05 sec), and she traveled the fastest 20 meters in a contortion roll (17.47 sec).

The Girl and Death: The Art of August Brömse

August Brömse (1873-1925) was a Czech artist heavily influenced by contemporary German art and culture. His Girl and Death series originated in 1901-1902. It is believed to echo his relationship with concert singer Eisa Schünemann.

The series consists of seven paintings:

August Bromse - By the Window from the Girl and Death series
By the Window

August Bromse - In the Park from the Girl and Death series
In the Park

August Bromse - Life Escaping from the Girl and Death series
Life Escaping

August Bromse - An Old Song from the Girl and Death series
An Old Song

August Bromse - Dance from the Girl and Death series
Dance

August Bromse - I'm Coming from the Girl and Death series
I’m Coming

August Bromse - The Lost Paradise from the Girl and Death series
The Lost Paradise

“The Girl and Death” is a modern variant of the Dance of Death. Death (a skeleton) plays a fantastic song on the violin; the girl listens in fascination and dances a wild dance — death accompanies her life’s pilgrimage. Life becomes endless suffering for the girl, cursed by the deity; her love is fatefully led from the start by tragic steps. As a symbol of the first fruits of sin the girl, in some sort of hypnotic trance, flies through space on a great snake which — in some prints of the series — holds an apple in its mouth. The concept of the landscape evokes a sense of unreality and timelessness. One of the last prints brings the whole story up to date. The girl lies prostrate on a window-sill; the anonymous roof tops of the modern city appear in the background.” — Otto M. Urban, In Morbid Colors: Art and the Idea of Decadence in the Bohemian Lands

Stuffed Animals in Costumes

This is a trailer for the 1965 film about eccentric Victorian taxidermist Walter Potter and his hand-made anthropomorphic taxidermy museum.

Check out the new book and documentary about Potter’s work here: Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy