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Medal - Préfecture de
 Police, Paris

Préfecture de Police, Paris

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    1892 (signed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Roty, Oscar, born 1846 - died 1911 (medallist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Struck silver

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This medal was issued by the 'Prefecture de Police Commissions d'Hygiène Publique et de Salubrité', the Commission of Public Hygiene and Health and is made by Oscar Roty in 1892.
Oscar Roty (1846-1911) was the leading French medallist of the late 19th century.
He studied painting under Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran and sculpture under Augustin-Alexandre Dumont. In 1875 he won the Prix de Rome for engraving and, supported by his more conservative mentor, Jules-Clément Chaplain, was elected to the Institut de France in 1888. In 1889 he won the Grand Prix at the Paris Exposition Universelle and was appointed an officer of the Légion d'honneur. In 1907 he was awarded the Salon medal of honour for sculpture, an unprecedented award for a medallist.

Roty's great career reflected his role in what Roger Marx called 'the Renaissance of the medal in France'. This was evident at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900, where struck medals by Roty and other medallists sold in tens of thousands.

Roty and Chaplain were two of the greatest late 19th century medallists. They adopted an approach which integrated the subject, field and lettering into a single, unified composition. This French innovation had a wide-reaching influence throughout Europe at the turn of the century.

Physical description

Obverse: Profile image of Marianne symbolising the French Republic. She wears a breastplate depicting a seated, winged figure, and a winged helmet with laurel wreath and flying ribbons at the back. Legend. Signed.
Reverse: View of Préfecture buildings and River Seine. Legend.

Place of Origin

France (made)


1892 (signed)


Roty, Oscar, born 1846 - died 1911 (medallist)

Materials and Techniques

Struck silver

Marks and inscriptions



Incuse 'ARGENT' and Paris Mint Mark of Cornucopia, signifying medals made after 1 January 1880.


Diameter: 3.69 cm, Weight: 20.8 g

Object history note

Given by Professor J. Hull Grundy and Mrs. Ann Hull Grundy, in 1980.

Descriptive line

Medal, silver, Préfecture de Police, Paris, by Oscar Roty, French, 1892

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

Forrer, L. Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, V, London, 1904, pp. 228-249 and VIII, p. 175-176

Subjects depicted

Winged figure; Helmet; Buildings


Coins & Medals; Politics; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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