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The Execution of Louis XVI King of France: C.733-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


The Execution of Louis XVI King of France


Factory: Aynsley, John




Cream-coloured earthenware transfer-printed in black with the execution of Louis XVI in 1793


History note: Sheldon Collection; Puttick & Simpson, 10 October 1919, part of lot 72; the two items purchased for £3 on behalf of Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge.

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 12.4 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Longton ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928-12-07) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


18th Century, Late
French Revolution
Circa 1793 - 1794


John Aynsley (1752-1829) of Lane End (now Longton), manufactured earthenwares and china, and is known particularly for transfer-printed ware which he was selling by 1788. The prints, usually in black, often incorporate his signature, 'J. Aynsley, Lane End', or 'John Aynsley, Lane End'. It is not known whether he employed his own engravers or commissioned prints from freelance engravers.

The development of printing on ceramics during the second half of the 18th century promoted the large-scale production of cheap earthenware decorated with commemorative or topical designs, such as the gruesome scene on this mug. Onglaze black printing was sometimes executed in the factory where the pots were manufactured, but could have been done elsewhere by specialists known as black-printers, who purchased plain glazed wares for decoration.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of ceramic printing colour ( black)

Materials used in production

cream Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Glazing (coating)

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: MASSACRE & EXECUTION OF LOUIS XVI KING OF FRANCE JANY 21 1793 Aged 38 Years 4 Months/An Event most Wonderfull in the History of the World/1 The Guillotine - 2 The Ax - 3 The King - 4 De Fermond His confessor - 5 One of the Executioners Drawing up the Ax immediately after the Execution - 6 the other Executioner holding up the Head of the King & proclaiming Behold the Head of a Tyrant - 7 The Basket for the Head - 8 The long Basket for the Body - 9 De Santere the Commandant General - 10 The Way by which the unfortunate Monarch ascended the Scaffold
  • Location: On front
  • Method of creation: Transfer-printed
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.733-1928
Primary reference Number: 75948
Old object number: 4122
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 15 December 2023 Last processed: Friday 15 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "The Execution of Louis XVI King of France" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-23 10:27:12

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