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Antoine Ruzé Coeffier

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1629 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Warin, Jean (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bronze, cast and chased

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case DR13

The commemorative portrait medal was especially highly regarded in France during the first half of the 17th century. Guillaume Dupré (1579-1644), court medallist to Henry IV, undertook medallic portrait commissions in Italy from 1612. Dupré's grasp of the Italian tradition, together with his considerable technical skills, enabled him to cast medals in a style that proved influential on succeeding generations of French medallists. The medal of Antoine Coeffier, called Ruzé, by Jean Warin, is close in style and technical accomplishment to that of Dupré and was for many years attributed to him. The Museum's version is a particularly fine specimen, and the reverse - which shows Hercules receiving the burden of the world from Atlas - is in such high relief that Hercules' left arm stands out free of the field.

Medallic art has always been collected at South Kensington within the context of the history of sculpture. The collection is consequently rich in examples of the work of known sculptors in this medium, and emphasis has been placed on the acquisition of particularly fine examples. Both the medals illustrated here were bequeathed by George Salting, whose great collection contained many other important and beautiful pieces.

Ruzé was Superintendent of Finances and Commander of the French army. He is shown as Atlas helping the French king, in the guise of Hercules, carry the burdens of state, symbolised by a terrestrial globe.

Physical description

Medal depicts on the obverse the bust to right of d'Éffiat, in armour, wearing a collar of lace and a scarf, and a ribbon with the cross of the Order of the Holy Ghost. Inscription.
On the reverse Hercules receiving from Atlas the burden of the world. By Hercules, his lion's skin and club. The figures in very high relief. Inscription

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1629 (made)


Warin, Jean (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Bronze, cast and chased

Marks and inscriptions




Diameter: 7 cm

Object history note

From the Salting bequest.

Descriptive line

Medal, bronze, Antoine Coeffier (called Ruzé), Marquis d'Effiat, made by Jean Warin, Paris, 1629

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

Williamson, Paul, ed. European Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996. 191p., ill. ISBN 1851771883.
'Salting Bequest (A. 70 to A. 1029-1910) / Murray Bequest (A. 1030 to A. 1096-1910)'. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (Department of Architecture and Sculpture). London: Printed under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, East Harding Street, EC, p. 54
Jones, Mark. Catalogue of the French Medals in the British Museum, Vol II, 1600-1672. London: 1988, pp. 188-191, no 180
Scher, Stephen, K., ed. The Currency of Fame - Portrait Medals of the Renaissance. Catalogue of the exhibition held at National Gallery, Washington; Frick Collection, New York; Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh. New York: 1994, pp.339-340, cat.no. 152
Trusted, Marjorie, ed. The Making of Sculpture. The Materials and Techniques of European Sculpture. London: 2007, p. 86, plate 141

Production Note

previously ascribed to Guillaume Dupré




Casting; Chasing

Subjects depicted

Terrestrial globes; Clubs (weapons)


Sculpture; Coins & Medals; Portraits


Sculpture Collection

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