This most beautiful, French , religious medal is silver plated. It is signed by Penin Poncet and 'L Penin’. It celebrates the Virgin Mary on one side and Saint Aloysius Gonzaga on the other.
The Penins from Lyons, France were a prolific family of medallists over four generations and started signing medals in 1830 to the present day. Adolphe Penin (1888-1985) worked in Lyons with Jean-Baptiste Poncet in the early 20th century. Penin created the design and Poncet engraved it on the metal dies for stamping. The other design is by Ludovic Penin (1830-1868). I am dating this medal to circa 1900-1910.
It measures 1¼" (3.2cms) in diameter and weighs 12.8 grams. At the top is a solid ring and a bail.
On the front is a raised image of Mary within a tear drop shape . She crushes the serpent, Satan, underfoot . The background is also sprinkled with tiny fleur de lis. Around the edge is the wording in French `Marie Conçue sans Peché Priez Pour Nous' – Mary conceived without sin pray for us. Around the outside is a gothic style frame ornamented with scrolls and an 'M' for Mary. It is signed ‘Penin Poncet’.
The image of St Aloysius is on the other side. Aloysius Gonzaga (1568 –1591) was an Italian aristocrat who became a member of the Society of Jesus. While still a student at the Roman College, he died as a result of caring for the victims of an epidemic. He was beatified in 1605, and canonized in 1726.
Aloysius appears holding a crucifix within a teardrop shape which has tiny fleur de lis in the background Around the edge are the words in Latin ‘S Aloysi Gonzaga Ora Pro Nobis’ Pray for Us. The outer areas have a scrolling decoration which sits within a gothic style frame.The base is signed ‘L Penin’ and ‘ A Lyon’.
I should add that as Aloysius died young he is the patron saint of students. Because of the circumstances surrounding his death he is also the patron saint of those suffering from epidemics and their carers.
This wonderful ,antique medal is really exquisite with so much detail. I originally tested it as silver but then noticed signs of brass on the high points. Frankly this is hard to see and not even apparent in my photos.. In fine condition for its age, it will arrive in a gift box.
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