Pewter medal of the storming of the Bastille, 1789. D: 80mm. Inv. CM 1906,1103.1416. - These medals were intended to form part of a set (never completed) that recall crucial events in the Revolution. On the morning of 14 July 1789, a crowd advanced on the Bastille, the state prison. The medal vividly captures the scene, showing the garrison firing onto the crowd pouring into the building over the broken drawbridge. The second medal commemorates another popular protest of October 1789 when an angry crowd descended onto the palace of Versailles and brought the King to Paris. This is the scene on the medal, where we see Louis XVI in his carriage in the Place Louis XIV, cowering before the statue of his illustrious predecessor. The medal was originally issued with an inscription from a speech by Bailly to the King: 'Sire, I bring your majesty the keys of his own good town of Paris. They are the same which were presented to Henry IV, he had reconquered his people: here it is the people who reconquered their king'.
British Museum, London, Great Britain
© The Trustees of the British Museum / Art Resource, NY
3600 X 1944 px