Bronze (see NOTES 1 & 2), UNC
82 mm (3.23”), 159 grams
OBVERSE: Albert Stewart (4/9/1900–9/23/1965) has been honored with numerous prestigious awards for his many public sculptural works. In 1936, with a country deep in a depression and a world in the shadow of war, he designed this medal for the Society of Medalists #14 issue with a message of peace. The society’s descriptive note quotes Stewart as saying, “I was guided by the belief that man’s voice of protest against war is growing from an inaudible whisper to a resounding concordance, which may bring between all men peace and good fellowship.” His sculptural image was an angel hovering above an island of “PEACE,” holding aloft an olive branch.
REVERSE: “MAN SEEKS TO TURN FROM THE SAVAGERY OF WAR.” A farmer pauses with a ploughshare in one hand and a clenched fist with the other, glancing at the rows of graves of fallen soldiers. Stewart’s initials “A.S.” are visible beneath the soil in the lower right quadrant. A large “1936” is displayed at the bottom of the medal beneath “©” (copyright symbol).
EDGE: The top edge is engraved “THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS FOURTEENTH ISSUE” (Detail 1). The bottom edge is engraved “MEDALLAC ART CO.–DANBURY, CONN.” (Detail 2, and per D.T. Alexander: Maker’s edge mark “F var”).
NOTE 1: In his book, American Art Medals, 1909–1995, author David Thomason Alexander describes two patina and edge varieties that he observed. SOM 14.1 is a “red-gold bronze with dull brown patina”; SOM 14.2 is a “deep reddish-brown patina.” Using Alexander’s descriptive phraseology, I would determine this medal (M043) as “graphite brown” with an almost lacquered appearance.
NOTE 2: The Medallic Art Company and SOM moved from New York City to Danbury, Connecticut, in 1972. This medal, although originally issued in 1936, was struck at the Danbury Mint sometime after 1972 with a totally different patina than the bronzes of old.