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Médaille Commémorative of Société astronomique de France

The Société Astronomique de France is the French astronomical society and was founded by the astronomer Camille Flammarion in 1887, its purpose is to promote the development and practice of astronomy.

The Société astronomique de France regularly issues the Médaille Commémorative.The design of the medal changed during the past more than 100 years, however there are some similarities can be identified among them.

On the obverse of first version a work of the famous medalist Alphée Dubois (1831-1915) is visible. The picture of the medal is dominated by the beautiful goddess Nox, who is flying above the globe of Earth, among the stars. A planet, a comet and the crescent Moon is also discoverable. The name of goddess is dot printed on the globe. Legend around is the name of the society: "SOCIÉTÉ ASTRONOMIQUE DE FRANCE". Below the date of foundation was engraved: "FONDEE EN 1887".

Soc 1 reverseSoc 1 obverse

The reverse has a simpler design, also made by Dubois. The name of the rewarded person - in this case "EMILE FOUCAULT" - and date "1897" is engraved into the center. The name is surrounded by a wreath.

The design changed in 1900 when the right facing excellent portrait of Camille Flammarion was used on one side of the medal. The portrait is also a work of Alphée Dubois. The medal pictured here has an engraving in its rim: "MEDAILLE COMMEMORATIVE - 1949 - GEORGES CHARRON", i. e. it names the rewarded person and the date of issue.

Flammarion 1 reverseFlammarion 1 obverse

The other side is exactly the same, as the obverse of the first version.

Later the design changed again. This issue of Médaille Commémorative shows exactly the same obverse as its predecessor, i. e. the portrait of Flammarion.

Flammarion 2 reverseFlammarion 2 obverse

However its reverse has returned to its first simple version. The legend is the the same as on the second version, but a wreath and a dotted ring in the center is used to hold the name of the rewarded person, in this case "M. PAPIN", "1919 - 1979".