I have been able to acquire a further collection of medals created by the French sculptor and medallist , Fernand Py ( 1887-1949). Py has become famous for his religious work – crosses ,reliquaries, statuettes and medals. A chalice commissioned by Pope Pius X1 is now in the Vatican collection and many French churches have examples of his work. This time my acquisitions are made of silver.
This small, delightful medal commemorates Saint Bernard. Bernard of Clairvaux, (1090 –1153) was a French abbot and the primary builder of the reforming Cistercian order.He was the first Cistercian placed on the calendar of saints, and was canonized by Pope Alexander III on 18 January 1174.
It measures 5/8” (1.6cms) across and weighs 3 grams.
It is a wonderful example of highly imaginative, Art Deco art probably from the 1930’s or early 1940’s. The back ground has been darkened here to bring the subject into relief.
In the centre is a striking image of Saint Bernard declaiming behind a cross. Below him is a crowd of people listening to him intently. On the left in raised lettering is ‘Saint Bernard’. On the other side is ‘Tout Pour J.C’ - All for Jesus Christ. At lower left is the signature ‘PY’.
At the top is a squared off ring with a bail. The ring bears the boar’s head French hallmark for 800-900 silver quality. The back is blank.
This wonderful, miniature work of art is in fine vintage condition It will arrive in a gift box.
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