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During the late 18th century, the potteries in the Staffordshire region of England began churning out detailed ceramic figures commemorating everything from classical artwork to political movements and current events, from folk heroes to celebrities. Staffordshire figures were in great demand for the Victorian consumers seldom had affordable artwork and objects to decorate their homes with.

In 1793, a French revolutionary leader by the name of Jean-Paul Marat, who was one of the most radical voices of the French Revolution, was stabbed to death in his bathtub by a young woman and a Girondin sympathizer named Charlotte Corday. Marat’s assassination was probably the first murder and the first current event to be depicted in clay. But it wasn’t until a couple of decades later that Staffordshire figures became widely available and household items.


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