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Category: Exonumia



Bronze, AU

50 mm (1-15/16”), 62.2 grams

HISTORY: This medal was struck by De Greef Médailles in Bruxelles (the French word for Brussels), Belgium. Founded in 1890 by Paul De Greef, Sr. (1869‒1942), it maintained a presence for a hundred-plus years. Paul De Greef, Jr. (1926‒1988), the grandson, assumed operations in 1950. Paul, Jr. had studied in France and developed relationships with a few French medalists. Returning to Bruxelles, he commissioned several of his French friends for medallic designs. Louis Muller (1902‒1957) was among those chosen sculptors.

Sometime between Paul, Jr. taking over the business and Muller’s death seven years later, Muller created the obverse for this medal. De Greef Médailles used typical reverses throughout the years, but the obverse of the medal was published in a De Greef catalogue as “EFFORT” No. 1028 by L. Muller (background information obtained from Medal Producers in Belgium (19th‒21st C.) by Stefan de Lombaert, see Detail 1).

OBVERSE: Muller chose the theme of Titan Prometheus picking through the rubble of a destroyed temple. As mentioned, this design was titled “EFFORT” as Prometheus often represents human striving. The stylized signature of “L Muller” is seen to the left at about 9 o’clock.

REVERSE: This is one of De Greef’s typical reverses. Along the left rim of this medal is a wreath of oak leaves and on the right a wreath of laurel, which to the Romans were symbols of victory and immortality. This medal, issued by the Association Liberale de Saint Gilles, celebrates their centennial, 1876‒1976. Saint Gilles is one of 19 municipalities of Brussels, Belgium.

EDGE: Smooth.

Detail 1, Effort