Paris, France —The French Mint throughout its long and illustrious existence has worked closely with artists and designers to create its most emblematic of objects, the medal. In 2020, the establishment launched its Paris Mint Prize to encourage exchanges with artists and to showcase the knowhow of its arts and craftsmen. In the second half of the 20th century the Mint has worked in its workshops with artists like Dali, César and Brassaï.
The competition was held for the second time this year with the winning medal imagined by French designer Pierre Charrié revealed in a ceremony last November 17th. Pierre Charrié drew his inspiration for the medal from the tradition of satirical medals and 16th century engravings. The medal, christened The World Overturned, is asymmetrical and was difficult to fashion because of its various widths. The designer’s initial inspiration for the medal was the bronze mirror which predated the glass mirrors of today, explained the designer. The front of the medal is concave and contains a quote from Hegel, « The False is the Moment of the True », while the back depicts the depths of the Pacific Ocean with the South Pole on the top and the North Pole on the bottom. The medal has been brought out in a limited edition of seven pieces, one of which will remain on display at the Mint.
Applications are now open until January 13th for next year’s prize.
The French Mint, known as La Monnaie in French, is located on the banks of the Seine in Paris and was officially founded in 864 with the Edict of Pistres in which Charles the Bald, the King of West Francia, decreed the creation of a coining workshop in Paris attached to the crown. The Mint, the Monnaie de Paris, is regarded as France’s longest standing institution and potentially the oldest enterprise in the world. Its workshops, permanent exhibitions and premises can be visited and it also hosts temporary exhibitions. Medals and coins can be purchased in the boutique.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette