Vernier Bronze Gilt Medallion of the Battle of Verdun 1916.
This commemorative pendant medallion is a slightly smaller version of the bronze medal designed by Seraphim Emile Vernier in 1916. This was an unofficial medal created to commemorate the heroism of Verdun's defenders. It was intended to be awarded to those who served on the Verdun front between 21 Feb 1916 and 2 Nov 1916, but was in fact awarded to those who served between Argonne and St Mihiel from 31 July 1914 to 11 Nov 1918. The original version of the medal was by Vernier but others also created Verdun medals and there are seven versions of varying rarity.
The front shows a bust of Marianne, emblem of the French Republic, inscribed "ON NE PASSE PAS" (they shall not pass) and the medallion is signed VERNIER to the edge behind the head of Marianne.
The reverse has the twin towers of the Porte Chausee in Verdun framed by laurel leaves. Inscribed "VERDUN 21 FEVRIER 1916".
The medallion weighs 7 gs. It hangs from a soldered bale and would have been produced at the same time as the original Verdun medal which was issued in 1917. There is slight surface wear compatible with age. Medallions like this were also produced in solid silver and vermeil.
"Verdun has become for the French the representative memory of World War I. Antoine Prost wrote, "Like Auschwitz, Verdun marks a transgression of the limits of the human condition"."