102693 | FRANCE. Winemaking bronze award Medal.
102693 | FRANCE. Winemaking bronze award Medal. Issued circa 1910. [unawarded] (50mm, 53.61 g, 12h). by A. Rivet for Arthus Bertrand in Paris.
LA VIGNE FRANÇAISE RÉGÉNÉRÉES PAR LA VIGNE AMÉRICAINE (the French vines have been revived by their American counterparts), female figure personifying French wine standing facing, clad in sheer drapery and being assisted by female figure personifying American wine kneeling left; grape vines and bunches around // Agricultural scene featuring female grape harvester standing left; various fruits and vegetables in baskets to left, along with a pumpkin; central medallion left blank for engraving. Edge: «triangle» BRONZE.
Choice Mint State. Charming brown surfaces, with an enticing matte nature.
During the second half of the 19th century, a severe blight affected a large portion of French vineyards, along with many others spread across Europe. A destructive aphid—known as the grape phylloxera and originating in America—was carried across the Atlantic to France, whereupon it spread like wildfire in the late 1850s. While American vines had become resistant to the bugs, their European counterparts, especially those in France, had no such protection. Making the matter even worse was its lack of detection for a decade, as the infesting insect would already have left the roots by the time that an affected vine would start showing any signs of illness. So problematic was the aphid to France's wine crop that many vineyards lost their entire fields, and impacts to the national economy were greatly felt. A solution was eventually proposed in the form of grafting American branches onto their French counterparts, with the American resistance serving as the protection that was so immensely needed. Given the importance of wine to France both economically and culturally, this remedy was greatly celebrated, as can be seen by Rivet's allegorical depiction on this unawarded viticulture-related medal.
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