68 mm (2-5/8”), 178 grams
HISTORY: Edmond de Goncourt (1822–1896) founded L’Académie Goncourt and bequeathed this estate to the establishment of an annual literary award for the finest French fiction novel of the year. A 10-member board was established to judge the final selection. Following his death, several years passed before L’Académie was fully organized and in 1903 bestowed its first award to writer John Antoine Nau (1860‒1918) for his book, Force Ennemie (Enemy Force, translated in 2010).
This medal was created in 1979 and awarded to Antonine Maillet (1929‒ ), an Acadian novelist and playwright, for Pélagie la Charrette (Pélagie: The Return to Acadie, translated in 1982).
OBVERSE: Emmanuel Roblès (1914–1995), a beloved French-Algerian novelist, poet, and playwright, was admitted to L’Académie Goncourt board in 1973 and held the eighth seat until his death. Paul Belmondo (1898–1982), French-Algerian sculptor and medalist, profiles Roblès on this handsome medal. Signature beneath neck. Belmondo studied in Paris and over the years received numerous awards and commissions, eventually producing as many as 444 medals.
REVERSE: An allegorical scene of a nude woman casually strolling along a wooded precipice, a river below, a waterfall cascading from the mouth of a lion. Perhaps it is a vignette from Roblès’s 1977 Vesuvius plays. Signature lower right.
EDGE: Smooth, engraved “1979” with Paris Mint hallmark cornucopia followed by “BRONZE.”