This large and impressive French medal is made of bronze and its title is ‘The Education of Saint Louis’. The design is by the celebrated French sculptor Pierre Lenoir (1879-1953), although this is a later version dated 1987.
Louis IX (1214 – 1270), commonly known as Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was the only canonised king of France. According to his vow made after a serious illness, and confirmed after a miraculous cure, Louis IX took an active part in the Seventh and Eighth Crusade in which he died from dysentery.
Louis' actions were inspired by Christian values and Catholic devotion. He decided to punish blasphemy, gambling, interest-bearing loans and prostitution, and bought presumed relics of Christ for which he built the Sainte-Chapelle.
The bronze medal measures 2 and 5/16” (5.9cms) across and is 5mms thick. It weighs a very substantial 109.8 grams.
On the front is a very powerful, engraved and raised image of the young King Louis. He is shown with a halo. He is in armour with the Crusader’s cross on his breast. He holds a sceptre with what looks like a hand at the top. The background is strewn with the tiny fleur de lis of France. On either side of him in bold lettering are the words ‘Saint’ and ‘Louis’. The artist’s signature ‘P Lenoir’ appears at the base.
On the reverse are the dates ‘1215’ and ‘1270’. The image is that of his mother Blanche of Castile educating the young Louis. There is a space at the base for an engraving.
The side of the medal bears the word ‘bronze’ together with the cornucopia symbol. The year ‘1987’ is also present.
This fabulous medal with interesting religious and historical associations in is in fine condition. It is lovely in itself but is heavy enough to be used as a paper weight. It will arrive in a gift box.
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