63 mm (2-7/16”), 111 grams
HISTORY: Poet Pierre de Ronsard (1524–1585), treasured by the French as their “Prince of Poets,” was also founder of La Pléiade, a group of seven French poets dedicated to the revival of classical French poetry. His most notable and loved works included Les Odes, Les Amours, and Sonnets pour ène. This medal celebrates the 400th anniversary of his birth. The number of medals and their award recipients are unknown.
OBVERSE: French sculptor and medalist Pierre-Victor Dautel (1873‒1951) was commissioned to create this exceptional medal. A student of both architecture and sculpture, he also mentored as a medal engraver under Ernest Henri Dubois (1863‒1930). Although he received numerous awards throughout his exceptional career, his capstone came in 1929 with the award of Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d’Honneur. On this medal, Dautel chose a side profile of Ronsard crowned with a laurel wreath. The perimeter is adorned with laurel and roses. To the lower right is his signature, “PV. Dautel.”
REVERSE: Apollo, Greek god of music and poetry, posing with a lyre in his left arm, dominates the center. To his left is a 1550 period couple and a seated nude, perhaps his twin sister Artemis, patron of young girls and goddess of chastity, the hunt, and the moon. To the right is a contemporary hunter with his dog and a peasant woman holding a spindle of yarn. A cherub on the left lifts a garland of roses from two cherubs on the right. An interesting historical note: A rose was named after Ronsard in 1985 (also known as the “Eden Rose”).
Engraved beneath the parapet on the left are the names of three La Pléiade poets: Joachim du Bellay (1522‒1560), Jean Dorat (1508‒1588), and Jean-Antoine de Baïf (1532‒1589). To the right are the three other members: Pontus de Thyard (1521‒1605), Rémy Belleau (1528‒1577), and Étienne Jodelle (1532‒1573). Centered is the tribute “A RONSARD LA POESIE FRANÇAISE MCMXXIV.” “PVD” initials are to the right.
EDGE: Smooth, engraved with Paris Mint hallmark cornucopia followed by the word “BRONZE.”