Bronze, AU, some spotting
70 mm (2-3/4”), 121.9 grams
HISTORY: Josuë Dupon (1864‒1935) was a Belgian sculptor and medalist. In the art competition of the 1936 Summer Olympic Games, he was awarded, posthumously, a bronze medal for his equestrian medal design entries.
OBVERSE: At some unknown year, the City of Antwerp commissioned Dupon to redesign their traditional bronze medal. The previous medal, created by Belgian sculptor Guillaume Charlier (1854‒1925), was used as early as 1909 (see inset). This earlier medal showed Antwerp’s coat of arms with two open hands above the castle walls, which exists today. Prior to the year 1459, these hands were emblazoned on flags. Also, Charlier had the clubs, held by the early man and woman, crossing in front their bodies, a design granted by the Dutch in 1881. Dupon, however, restored the flags and slung the clubs over the man’s and woman’s shoulder, a subtle remake of Antwerp’s arms.
Although this medal was issued and presented in 1928, Dupon may have created the design earlier. The reason for Dupon’s redesign of Charlier’s original design is an open mystery. I have seen this same Dupon obverse used on award medals as late as 1947.
To the right of the woman’s feet is the signature of Josuë Dupon. Bottom center are the initials “S·P·Q·A” taken from, and added to, the Latin “Senatus Populusque” Antwerpen (translated as “The Senate and the People of Antwerpen”).
REVERSE: Antwerp annually hosts a world-renowned summer festival of the arts, from June to August, with a focus on live stage performance, music, symphony, and movies in an outdoor setting—the Bestendig (lasting, permanent, enduring). This 39th Bestendig Festival award “1928” was bestowed on “van ZANG, HARMONIE en SYMFONIE.”