Friday, 25 November 2011

Edouard Blin - Medals

Here is a striking art deco design French gilt bronze award medal, designed and signed E Blin. I'm not sure who these characters are, I assume some sort of music dieties. The clues are the Lyre or Harp and the inscription on the reverse; "Narbonne Concours International De Musique 4-5 June 1933". Exactly which diety - I don't know ? any suggestions.

Now for the academic bit - some biographical details

Édouard-Pierre Blin (1877-1946) was a French artist sculptor specialising in medals and bas-reliefs in bronze, born in Chartres in 1877. He studied under Jules-Clement Chaplain (1839-1909),  Louis Alexandre Bottee (1852-1941) and Hector Lemarie. See below for examples by these two artist - some styling clues perhaps.

Medals by his tutors - Chaplain (left) and Bottee (right)

Edouard was a success, both commercially, evidenced by the number of surviving medal designs and critically. His work was exhibited at the Salon de la Societe des Artistes Francais where he won several awards. Initially; an Honourable Mention in 1908 followed by a Bronze Medal in 1911, Silver in 1921 and finally a Gold Medal in 1933. The society made him a Chevalier D'Legion D'Honneur in 1934 followed by what must have been his greatest award, a Gold Medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1937.

Charles Lindburgh and The Spirit of St Louis.

Art Deco design award medals.

There are examples of his art in the collections of the British Museum, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton and Hove Museum and the Imperial War Museum.  There are probably examples in other collections around the world and would be prized by any private collector interested in art deco bronze sculptor. Their values seem to vary greatly - some more common example from £30/40 right upto £250 !!

Perhaps his most recognisable medal is the "Nike of  Samothrace" engraved  just after the end of World War 1 as an awarded to those injured during the war, a French "Purple Heart".

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