In recent months I have become more and more interested in French and Belgium bronze medailles from the early to mid 20th century. The French seem to have a tradition of issuing commemorative medals for everything; far more often than seen in Britain. The vast majority of medals seen in the UK are awards/prizes or for Royal events. Whilst in France even the exhibitor at the North West France Pork Butchers show would each receive a beautifully engraved specially minted bronze medal.
A fairly high percentage of the medals seen in France are signed by the die engravers and stamped with mint marks. So here is the first of a series on engravers.
This fine art deco design bronze medal was issued to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Paris Electricity Company. It signed on the reverse by the following artist.
Paul Marcel Dammann
He was a French sculptor and engraver of medals. He studied at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaus Arts in Paris under the respected artist Chaplain. Although he gained early success winning a prize for engraving at the 1908 Grand Prix De Rome and the resulting time spent as artist in residence at the Villa Medici in Rome, his best period seems to be the years just before and after the First World War. His designs during this period would have been considered "moderne" or what we now refer to as art deco.
P-M Dammann's design philosophy was "that a medal should be clear and must be able to be read immediately"
He was awarded the
Premier Grand Prix de Rome in 1908 with "Jeune fille a sa toilette"
Medal of Honor at the Salon of French Artists in 1928.Vice-President of the Société des Artistes Français.
Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur .
His other works include decorative sculpture and the war memorial in Montgeron. Other designs include;
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