This superb large and heavy French medal is dated 1873. It is made of copper and celebrates a First Communion.
It measures 2" (5cms) in diameter and weighs 61.9 grams so is very heavy. Both sides are stunningly beautiful and deserve special study.
I will first describe the side with the date and inscription `Première Communion 1873'. The top carries the name `Paul Legentil' and around the edge there are dates left blank for baptism and confirmation.All the inscriptions are punctuated by little crosses. The images are skilfully sculpted within a circle and then decorative scallops. Here is the baptismal font with the Saint Esprit or Holy Spirit descending in the form of a delicately sculpted dove. The font actually looks as if it contains water and the pedestal is beautifully embellished. On one side is a cross and on the other a star.
On the reverse is a very highly detailed scene. Here is Jesus within a beautiful gothic arch showing his Sacred Heart. On each side are angels gently guiding two children towards him. Above them are palm fronds and below them two little birds drinking from a fountain. Around the edge is inscribed in French `Celui qui mange ma chair et boit mon sang a la vie éternelle et je le resussiterai au derner jour' He who eats of my body and drinks of my blood has eternal life and I will resurrect him on the last day'.
On the edge of the medal is inscibed `cuivre' for copper with a tiny French mark.
This truly exceptional and very rare medal would greatly enhance a collection of French religious medals and could be used as a paperweight. It is in wonderful antique condition and will arrive in a gift box.