Gold Coins Art Nouveau Post War Gold Coins
greek roman
other ancients byzantine medieval angel early modern modern and
british indian
and coronation






Art Nouveau Gold Coins and Medals

At the turn of the 20th century Art Nouveau was system of aesthetics that encompassed painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, jewelry design, furniture design, etc.  It was a global (western) movement that incorporated an ideal of the abstract flow of the lines and patterns of nature into a disciplined functional design.  It was a marriage of beauty and use, and as such formed the basis of Modernism.  And, as is always the case, the term Modernism echoed the precepts of Classicism.

Art Nouveau expressed itself completely in the Art Nouveau Medal.  Most of the great Art Nouveau sculptors, painters and designers were also Medallists.  The form and substance of the medal was one of ultimate Use: They were created on round or rectangular planchets to celebrate specific occasions and accomplishments in identifiable metals all the while celebrating the artists' vision of natural beauty.

Two world wars and a global depression gave rise to a total rejection of classical (Read: Modern) ideas of  the marriage of "technique, beauty, and form and use."  The rejection of Modernism gave rise to Post Modernism wherein the "The concept" was championed in "fine art," most often by those with minimal conceptual training, while form, use and beauty were consigned to "decorative arts."

At the same time, the conception of Money, has progressed from the naturally useful function of precious metal towards the realm of pure conceptual unit of account.

Seventy years later, the championing of Concept - in art by those who have no conceptual training whatsoever - and in Money by those who have no practical training in use - has coalesced into an unintentional Theater of the Absurd wherein "Fine Art" is dominated by advertising executives and commodity traders, while Money is conjured into existence by academic theorists.

But we are clearly in the endgame of the Conceptual Absurdity, and the pendulum is swinging back towards ideals of "use, function and beauty."

Mint Marks used at the PARIS MINT:
Plain Edge=> All medals before March 30th 1832 have plain edges and before 1841 for bronze or copper.
Antique Lamp=> from March 30th 1832 until October 21st 1841 (on gold & silver only).
Anchor=> from October 21st 1841 until September 25th 1842.
Ship Prow=> from September 26th 1842 until June 12th 1845.
Pointing Hand=> from June 13th 1845 until October 1st 1860.
Bee=> from November 1st 1860 until December 31st 1879.
Cornucopia (Horn of Plenty) => from 1880 until now.

FRANCE: 1842 Eugene Scribe Gold Award Medal

(20.43 gms) Special Achievement Award, signed by J.F.Domard. Awarded to Eugène Scribe by the Commission des Auteurs Dramatiques. Crossed sword, quills and mirror on a lyre decorated with a buste de buffon, engraved scribe 1839-1842, rev. legend in wreath.

Eugene Scribe

Eugène Scribe (1791-1861) was the most famous, prolific, and successful, French librettist of
the 19th century. He operated much as a modern Studio, employing assistant writers to craft pieces from set plots and stock characters. As well as creating hundreds of plays, Scribe himself wrote the libretti for many of the Grand Operas produced at the Paris Opera, collaborating with Verdi, Donizetti, Rossini and others. UNIQUE and of great historical interest.

Superb Uncirculated......................$3600

Jules Clement Chaplain. In 1877 he was named the official medallist of the French government; in 1878 he was named a chevalier of the Legion of Honor; and in 1881 was given the seat at the Académie des Beaux Arts. He was responsible for the official portraits of every president of the French Republic from Edme Patrice MacMahon in 1877 to Émile Loubet in 1899. He was commissioned to engrave the gold coinage of France; his gold medal commemorating the visit of Czar Nicholas and Czarina Alexandra of Russia to Paris in 1896 was thought to be one of the finest ever struck. And in 1896 he designed the medals for the first modern olympics.

FRANCE Troisième république - 1878

The Universal Exposition, Paris, Gold Medal, 1878, signed by J C Chaplain, both sides. 50mm, (82.63g. .916 fine gold) Laureate head of Marianne left, rev Victory and child genius hover above the exhibition, named in plaque: New York Consolidated Card Co. The company produced wonderful playing cards and was founded in 1871 by the merging of three earlier firms which had flourished during the mid-19th century.

Very Rare in gold, and in the origianl box of issue - remarkable condition for a medal of this size and age. The Royal Society of Arts (Great Britain) published (in 1879) a comphensive review of the Artists and Artisans to show work in 35 catagories of industrial and fine arts. That number is perhaps indicative of the number of large gold first place medals struck. This medal design was used only at exposition of 1878.

exceptionally rare in this condition

PCGS graded SP 62............................$7,000

U.S.A - 1921

Presidential Gold Life Saving Medal, (38 g) Engraved by George T Morgan - (who certainly seemed inspired by JC Chaplain.)

Awarded to T. Arnold, seaman, of the British Steamship agapenor, in recognition of his heroic services in effecting the rescue at sea, on January 23, 1921, of the Master and crew of the American Barkentine carioca, At 4.45pm on Jan. 23 1921 the Agapenor sighted the Carioca in a hopeless state, with seven feet of water in her hold, the pumps choked and much of her rigging lost. She was rolling violently in a fierce sea but all hands were successfully rescued. The following is taken from the New York Times of 21st May 1921: Washington, May 20. “On behalf of President Harding and the Government of the United States, the State Department is forwarding to the British Foreign Office, through the American Embassy at London, for distribution, testimonials which have been awarded to master and second officer and certain members of the crew of the British steamer Agapenor for their heroism in rescuing the crew of the American barkentine Carioca of New Orleans off the coast of Crete last January.”

Mint State.........................................sold

FRANCE Troisième république 1888

Lloyd Rouennais Gold Medal for Saving Life at Sea, by Alphée Dubois, gold (83.89g), 46mm, French cornucopia and 'OR' marks stamped to the edge, reverse centre engraved 'Lloyd Rouennais au Captaine Lash 24 Janvier 1888',

Lloyd Rouennais, founded 1726, is a French society for the protection of both industrial and commercial marine vessels. It is the equivalent of the British Lloyd's Group, with the medals issued for similar actions of Bravery and Gallantry at Sea.

S.S. Suez, owned by Cie De Navigation d'Orbigny Et Faustin Fils, of La Rochelle, sank on 24 January 1888, after a collision with the German S.S. Dihmarschen off Cabo Espichel en route from Penarth to Marseille

Extremely rare. Only one gold medal has been issued by Lloyd's of London, according to the record of bravery awards at the Guildhall library and this is the only recorded example of this gold medal from Lloyd's of Rouen. The reason for the extraordinary gold issue of medals usually issued in silver and bronze is unclear.

Brilliant Uncircultated in case of issue
PCGS SP 62..........................................$7500

FRANCE: Troisième république 1893

Gold award medal

(25,4 grams.)
French Ministry of agriculture. Awarded in Arras 1893 to the Lequette brothers. Solid gold (900/1000), edge counterstamp: "OR". Signed by the artist Hubert Ponscarme. Head of Ceres/Marianne
rare in gold

A few light marks, otherwise


La ville de Bruxelles AV médaille (38,63g).Dim: 41 mm, par J.C. Chaplain. à Joseph Dupont, directeur des concerts populaires. Droit : Saint Michel terrassant le démon. Revers : Inscription en huit lignes.Extrêmement Rare.
Joseph Dupont.jpg
Joseph Dupont (1838-1899) obtint le prix de Rome de composition en 1863, puis devint chef d'orchestre à l'Opéra de Varsovie en 1867 et au Théâtre Impérial de Moscou en 1871. Il revint ensuite en Belgique pour diriger l'orchestre du Théâtre de la Monnaie, dont il fut le directeur de 1886 à 1889. 


ENGLAND: 1908 Gold Award Medal

32 mm ( 23.3 grams) for the Franco-British Exhibition held in London. Awarded to Morris & Bolton Ltd., signed by the artist Frank Bowcher. OBV: allegorical figure standing holding a laurel branch in her left hand, right arm raised, looking at a tablet in which the name Morris & Bolton. REV: Fame seated and clasping the hands of Britannia, an Angel standing behind (BHM 3960, E 1903)

Extremely Rare, perhaps unique: It was said in the exhibition's Fine Arts Souvenir Catalogue, 'a small medal was awarded', but in the BHM no small medal has been noted. In original case of issue (the case has some damage)


FRANCE Troisième république 1909

Gold Award Medal

37 mm (28 gm) countermarked 1or on edge.

signed by the artist Daniel Dupuis (1849-1899), considered one of the great sculptors and medallists of the period, he was shot to death by his jealous wife at age 50. Obv: Marriane seated with wreaths and child with bugle and book Rev: Prix du Conseil General. Very rare in gold.


CHILE 1910

Gold Plaque for Chilean Independence.

Struck in FRANCE. 42x58mm (91.26 grams,18-Karat), by Rene Lalique.

Obverse: Female personification of the Republic, standing ‘midst wheat. Reverse: Landscape, divided diagonally by the staff of the national flag; arms below; the Andes in the distance. 

The company Lalique’s continuing output of crystal and jewelry is so well known, the medals by the founder Rene Lalique --issued through WW1-- are overshadowed. A crystal Brandy Decanter (with brandy) designed by Lalique recently sold for $640,000 US in a Hong Kong auction. All of the medals he designed are quite rare. The design for this Chilean piece is one of the most exceptional among all art medals. It is extremely rare in gold.

in the original case of issue.
SUPERB MINT STATE.................$10,000

FRANCE Troisième République. 1910

Gold Award medal, (33mm 23.88 g)
in original box,
signed by Alphee Dubois
.900 gold
- marked "or" on edge. A belle epoque interpretation of the Republique Francaise's Mariane with Ceres.

Very rare in gold.

Some rubbing at 12 o'clock, otherwise,

FRANCE, Troisième République 1910

AV Medal (36mm, 28.60 g, 12h). Société des Artistes – Third Prize Medal. By Daniel Dupuis. Presented to Grégoire Nicolas Finez, 1910, for painting. Personification of the Arts standing facing, holding wreath in each hand,and adorning altar being inscribed AD GLORIAM by a putto, seen from behind, seated on an Ionic capital; large tree in background / SOCIÉTÉ DES ARTISTES FRANÇAIS, PEINTURE/SALON DE 1910/FINEZ/GREGOIRE NICOLAS/MÉDAILLE DE/3ME CLASSE in six lines. On edge: cornucopia and 1OR




Gold Award medal, 27mm (12.8gm) .916 fine gold. Signed by the Russian emigree artist Felix Rasumny.
Here we see a Russian social realist tableau rendered in Art Nouveau style: with Ceres guiding a field worker with rolled up sleaves and a scythe.
Very Rare in gold.

small bump at 6 o'clock, otherwise

France Troisième république 1911

Gold Award Medal

28mm (12.8 gm) Edge marked 3 Or. Signed by the artist Oscar Roty. Societe Secours Mutuels (society for mutual aid). Ministere du Travail et de la prevoyance sociale. Awarded to Docter Beaufils and Marie Clamecy. With gold mount and original ribbon.



FRANCE Troisième république 1912

Gold Award Medal

29mm (12.7 gm) .920 fine gold. Edge marked 1OR Signed by the artist Charles Pillet, (a star pupil of Chaplain) and the series editor A Desaide. Agricultural award. Male and female gardeners tending their chrysanthemums. Very rare in gold.


FRANCE Troisième république (World War I)

Gold Medal

27 mm (12.9g)
signed by the Russian emigree artist Felix Rasumny. Obv: Gerneral Joffre supreme commander of the French Army in World War I Rev: Allons Enfants de la Patrie: beautifully styled winged Marrianne with sword and flag. With bezel attached.
Extremely Rare


FRANCE 1920 Gold Award Medal

35mm (26,7g) .916 fine gold,
counterstamped 1or on the edge. Signed by the artist Frederic de Vernon, who designed the medals for the 1900 olympics. Yacht-Club de France awarded to M.E. Lavergne:  20 Février 1920
Very Rare in Gold.

Minor edge bump, otherwise


Belgium, 1913

Brussels Municipal Award of Honor (38g .900 fine gold) Signed by the Artist J C Chaplain
for Maurice Ansiaux, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Brussels, who wrote extensively - and presciently - about the use of Precious metals in the curbing of inflation and the prevention of Economic Crisis. Obv: St Michael, standing over slain devil. Extremely Rare.


France, 1930

Gold medal, French Federation of Shooting, first prize, skeet, 27mm (10.5 gm - 24 Karat),

N.D. Circa 1920-1930 - signed by the artist Alexander Morlon. In original case of issue. Superb Art Deco style. Very Rare in gold.

Brilliant Unciculated..........................$1800

Uruguay. Republic (1830-)

Gold Essai 10 Centesimos. (18.33g) 1930.
Reeded edge. Centenary of independence. Obv: Head of Ceres right. (from the 1929 french 100 franc essai) Rev: puma walking left. Very Rare: 60 pieces struck. (KM-E10). Signed by the French artist Alexandre Morlon Provenance: Karl F Chirico Jr.

Brilliant UNC........................sold

FRANCE Fourth Republic Gold module of 20 francs.

1955 mint visit of president Coty. Liberty Head taken from Dropsy's essai of 1929 Coin press with legend signed by Brenet F. Demond. Mazz 2776a, Gad. 867
Extremely Rare presentation piece.
Provenance Kroisos Collection



Monnaie de Paris, Piefort 5 francs, (38 gm. .920 fine gold) From dies of the 1897 essai by Oscar Roty. Signed by the artist on the obverse.
Rare year. From a mintage of 35 coins.

OBV: Famous Sower Lady (La Semeuse) image.

BRILLIANT UNCIRCULATED.................$3200


For info, comments, purchase requests contact: Jeff Kahn at
Rare Gold Coins | Greek Gold Coins | Medieval Gold Coins | Roman Gold Coins