Martyrs of 1793

Martyrs of 1793

As she plunged the kitchen knife cleanly and fatally into the chest of French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat whilst he was in the bath on July 13th 1793, 24 year old Charlotte Corday believed her act would save thousands of lives. Corday, a Girondin, blamed Marat for the extreme course the revolution had taken, with his staunch advocacy of the Third Estate. Marat [1743 – 1793] was a political theorist, physician and scientist who had become increasingly radicalised.

Louis-Michel Le Pelletier, Marquis de Saint-Fargeau [1760 – 1793] was a member of the nobility who too had become a revolutionary politician. He was known for casting the deciding 361st vote in the National Convention’s decision to execute King Louis XVI. On 20 January 1793, the eve of the king’s execution, Le Pelletier was assassinated in a restaurant by Philippe Nicolas Marie de Pâris, a member of the Garde du Corps.
In the same year, on July 16th 1793 the revolutionist Joseph Chalier [1747 – 1793], a radicalised lawyer and leader of the Jacobins of Lyons died by the guillotine and also became a martyr for liberty. Whilst living in Paris Chalier had become acquainted with Marat and Robespierre.
This rare ring commemorates the deaths of those three revolutionaries in 1793. It is embossed with portraits on the left of Marat, in the centre of Chalier and on the right of Pelletier, above the name Chalier. The silver hoop is inscribed : LE PELLETIR MARTIR DE LA LIBERTE and MARAT MARTIR DE LA LIBERTE. The ring is size N [US 6 and 1/2] and the hoop is half an inch wide. There is a medal of the same subject in the British Museum and a similar ring depicting Murat and Peletier in the Victoria and Albert Museum jewellery gallery. Vive la révolution!


The Death of Marat by David     The Assassination of Marat by Jean-Joseph Weerts

The assassination of Pelletier  Joseph Chalier

Similar medal, British Museum         Similar ring, Victoria and Albert Museum