Saturday, 11 February 2012

Robert Cochet (1903-1988)

I recently bought this lovely signed French bronze art deco medallion, after being attracted to the design; pretty girls and art deco are irresistible but I am not quite sure which Greek goddess she represents, probably either Demeter, Persephone or maybe Autumn.

It came in it original card box and is in beautiful condition. The reverse is designed by Jean LaGrange and it was award by "Societe D'Agricture De Meaux; Concours" in 1933. Either it was cherished by the recipient or disregarded and forgotten. Either way, it had survived for us to enjoy.

A good strong stylised designed, signed R Cochet for Robert Cochet (1903-1988). But who was he and what other art did he create ?

There is very little biographical information for Robert, other than he was French, born in 1903 and studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. During his time there he received tuition from Carli and Bazor (Albert or Lucien ?).

From the works I have seen, he probably specialised in creating designs for medals and small works in bronze. He designed several coins, including the Fourth Republic 100 franc piece struck in France at the Monnaie de Paris and Beaumont-Le-Roger mints between 1954 and 1958. These are signed with a tiny CR monogram on the front and R Cochet on the reverse.

His work was clearly well received as he was awarded a diploma and medal at the 1954 International Exposition in Madrid. He was made a Societaire of the Salon des Artistes Francais. It is fairly safe to assume that he also exhibited regularly at the Salon. An example of his medals can be found in the collection of The British Museum.

Today, his medals are widely collected and valued. A search through eBay and other medal dealer will see a range of prices from £20 or £30 for common basic designs up to £250 for the larger and more elaborate art deco pieces.


Whilst researching a posting about Lucien Bazor, I discovered that Robert designed a portrait medal of Bazor which decorates his grave. So, perhaps Lucien was his tutor and not Albert ?

I am looking for more information - please leave helpful comments.

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