This delightful French silver medal or charm commemorates the life of Saint Nicholas. It is hallmarked for 800-900 silver quality. It is signed ‘Penin’.
The Penins from Lyons, France were a prolific family of medallists over four generations and started signing medals in 1830 to the present day. I believe this medal dates to the mid 20th century.
Saint Nicholas was a fourth century saint from Myra in what is now Turkey. Many miracles were attributed to this holy man but one in particular is depicted here. Legend has it that a wicked butcher murdered three children in order to sell them as ham. He placed their bodies in a barrel. St Nicholas discovered the children and his prayers brought them back to life. He is now considered the Patron Saint of children. In northern Europe Nicholas brings little gifts for the children in early December.
This small but exquisite medal measures 5/8” (1.5cms) across. It weighs 1.6 grams.
On the front is Saint Nicholas with mitre and crook bringing to life the three children in the barrel. Below them is the signature ‘Penin’. Around the edge is the wording in French ‘Sant Nicolas Priez Pour Nous’ Pray for us.
At the top is a ring which bears the crab mark for 800-900 silver quality. There is a bail for a chain. The back is blank.
In fine vintage condition, this delightful and unusual piece will arrive in a gift box
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