Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    1915 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Nocq, Henry, born 1868 - died 1944 (medalist)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is a bronze medal made by Henry Nocq in France, 1915 to commemorate French writers who had fallen in the Great War. Correspondence from Henry Nocq dated 28 August 1916 to Eric Maclagan reveals that in the previous year the French writer Maurice Barrés commissioned Nocq to design a medal in memory of French writers killed in the war. The families of dead writers would receive a silver medal, and a limited edition of fifty bronze medals was also struck for collections in Europe. Nocq stated categorically that the medal was not and never would be sold commercially. In this way Nocq and Barrés fulfilled the commemorative function of medals, and at the same time, secured the survival of the medal itself in European cultural institutions.

Henry Nocq, also sometimes known as Henri-Eugéne Nocq, was a scholar, critic, sculptor and medalist who studied under Chapu and exhibited regularly at Paris Salons from 1887. Nocq's approach to design intergrates both faces of the medal by completing the obverse legend on the reverse to poignant effect. The soft, drooping posture of the contemplative, mouring figure on the reverse, thought to be derived from ancient coinage, is in marked contrast to the strident shouting figure of the obverse.

Physical description

Obv., the winged, female figure of victorious France strides forward, shouting, on the battlefield with raised arms, brandishing a sword in her right hand and with a cannon in front of her. Rev., a mourning, winged figure, holding a wreath and seated on an inscribed tomb on which are placed a sword, a French soldier's 'kepi'(cap) and an open book.A cross with rays emanating from it in the background. The edge of this medal is incuse cornucopia of Paris Mint mark.

Place of Origin

France (made)


1915 (made)


Nocq, Henry, born 1868 - died 1944 (medalist)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions




Diameter: 68 mm

Descriptive line

French writers killed in the Great War, struck bronze, by Henry Nocq, French, 20th century, 1915.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Gullen, Lucy, Fisher, Wendy and Nobert Jopek. [Exhibition handlist] 'One by One': European Commemorative Medals of the Great War 1914-1918. Victoria and London: Albert Museum, 1998. p. 30. Handlist of exhibition held Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1998-1999.



Subjects depicted

Kepi; Book; Sword; Tomb; Cannon; Wreath; Winged female; Cross


Coins & Medals


Sculpture Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.