Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Leon Claude Mascaux - Medals

First the medal that inspired the research -

A fine quality bronze art deco design medal, 50mm in diameter, featuring what I thought was a maiden worshipping the sun - or it is ?? Signed C Mascaux. With the strong art deco designed I felt they must date from no earlier that 1930 - am I correct ? 

Much Googling later --- 

Leon Claude Mascaux ( 1882-1965) also listed as Claude Leon, was a French sculptor and medal engraver working mainly in bronze during the 1920's and 1930's. His medals are included in the medal collection of the Bibliotheque National de France in Paris and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

At a time when the Olympic Games still included competitions for the arts, he won a Bronze Medal in the Sculptor category at the 1924 Paris Olympics for designing a sports medal. The other winner were; Gold - Konstantinos Dimitriadis (Greece) for "Discobole Finlandais", Silver - Frantz Heldenstein (Lux) for "Vers l'olympiade" and another bronze for Jean Rene Gauguin (Denmark) for a boxer.

The Polo medal shown on the right has been suggested as the winning design and is signed C L Mascaux whilst other medals seen are usually signed C Mascaux. 
He also won the Grand Prix for a set of 7 sports medals at the Exposition des Arts Decoratifs, Paris in 1937. Here are a group of 7 similar medals, all featuring sports motifs. I wonder with these are the prize winning designs?



He also exhibited at the Salon de la Nationale des Beaux-Art, Paris including a lovely medal of a winged Cupid holding a flower for a girl as she pluck away petals  - he loves me... he loves me not....

There are many bits of stories floating in the internet about this artist, many references seem to contradict each other. I have tried to make a little more sense out of them, but I still do not quite have enough to complete a biography !! and back to the first medal - not a sun worshipper but perhaps an Olympic torch bearer.

Here are two more lovely creations by Mascaux - thanks to reader Trevor Judd.

other designs include-


Other internet references include;
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