102510 | FRANCE. Agriculture Art Deco silver Award Medal.
102510 | FRANCE. Agriculture Art Deco silver Award Medal. Issued circa 1920-1940 [unawarded] (67mm, 184.16 g, 12h). By M. Thénot at the Paris mint.
AGRICVLTVRE, upper body of a nude female (representing France) emerging from wheat field; two hands rise up, nourishing the field with her breasts; in three lines in exergue, LABOURAGE ET PÂTURAGE / SONT LES DEUX MAMELLES / DE LA FRANCE ("plowing and grazing are the two teats of France," a quote from Maximilien de Béthune, the Duke of Sully) // Central band left blank for engraving; above and below, diptych featuring plowing scene with two horses and grazing scene with three bovines. Edge: «cornucopia» 2 ARGENT.
MdP III, 371A. Choice Mint State. Light argent-gray surfaces, with some darker toning around the devices; a few inconsequential marks on the reverse are noted. Already a difficult and rare type in bronze, this medal is extremely rare in silver, with an edge notation dating it to the interwar period. Compare to a bronze example that realized a total of $456 in the Stack's Bowers fall CCO (12 October 2021), lot 70633.
Featuring a fairly bold and provocative design on the obverse, this imagery alludes to a famous 1638 quote by the Duke of Sully, Maximilien de Béthune, who was also a minister in the court of King Henri IV. He proposed the freedom of the grain trade through abolishing the many tolls that served as barriers between the French provinces, thus promoting what he considered most important to France–agriculture.
Upload: 15 August 2023.