Exquisite Antique Medal of The Weeping Angel of Amiens

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  • Item Category: Fraternal, Political, Organizations
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Mar 23, 2008
  • Channel: Auction House

Exquisite Antique Medal:
The Weeping Angel of Amiens
This exquisite antique medal is from the Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens (Cathedrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens) in France. The medal is silver plated and measures .5"/12 mm in diameter. It depicts a cherub with a skull and hourglass, and the date 1628. That is the year of the death of Canon Lucas, founder of a local school for orphans. The medal also reads: "D'apres N. Blasset d'Amiens" (after N. Blasset of Amiens). Additionally it is signed by Gaudin & Dubray, a Paris foundry that produced medals and jewelry from 1901-1914. The reverse is engraved simply "Amiens."
The image represents a statue near Canon Lucas' tomb. Called the Angel Weeper, it is a chubby winged boy with his left hand on an hourglass and his right elbow on a skull from which the lower jaw is missing, representing the emblem of death suggested by a relic of St. John. The original statue in the church is the work of architect and sculptor Nicholas Blasset (d. 1663), whose home was Amiens. While he created many other fine sculptures in this grand church, the Angel Weeper is considered his masterpiece.
Souvenirs and statuettes of the weeping angel were sold at Amiens Cathedral and were especially popular among soldiers during World War I, who responded to the image's sentimentality and Christian symbolism. The weeping angel represents grief, or mourning for an untimely death. The skull represents mortality, and the hourglass represents the swiftness of time and the cycle of life and death.
Built in the 13th century, Amiens Cathedral is the tallest complete cathedral in France, with vaults reaching 42.30 m high. Amiens is in the Somme River valley, about 100 kilometers north of Paris.
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