Two Paris Medals-1878 World's Fair & 1879 Festival 1 Price/2 Medals #ON518
This is a rare opportunity to purchase two quite lovely and scarce French medals. The first one pictured is from the 1878 Paris World's Fair, while the second is one I have never seen before. It is a souvenir from an 1879 Paris Musical Festival with a unique and interesting obverse image.
In the last two years I have begun purchasing and selling a variety of European world's fair medals and related ephemera. For nearly 40 years I have specialized in exposition material--in the U.S. with minor exceptions, such as the 1967 Montreal world's fair. I have gone out on a bit of a limb making these purchases, many of which you would have seen on this site in September 2021 listed in my 300-lot annual sale.
My goal is to provide you with an expanded opportunity to acquire world's fair and exposition material. The natural beginning of this was researching and finding medals and other souvenirs from the world's first world's fair at London's Crystal Palace in 1851. I have been fortunate to acquire a nice range of UK medals, especially 1851 and 1862 when the expo was held at the new Crystal Palace after the first burned.
France was exceptionally prolific with world's fairs first in 1855 and then in 1867, 1878, 1889 and 1900. I also have become very interested in the 1931 Colonial world's fair in Paris and have several medals listed here. As began to search for medals for fairs on the other side of the globe I quickly realized it couldn't be done properly only buying from U.S. sellers. I've been very fortunate to establish a relationship with two Paris sellers and have been able to offer probably the best collection of French expo medals in the U.S. There is much more to the story and I always welcome your comments and questions.
I have sold the 1878 medal in this lot but never have seen the 1879 festival companion piece. I thought it would be a nice and unusual opportunity to acquire the pair of expositions held in back-to-back years in Paris nearly 150 years ago.
An attractive aspect of many French medals is that they can be purchased for a much lower price than one would expect, especially if you're used to prices for US fairs of the same eras. You probably would find, if they were available from a U.S. dealer, that these two medals might cost $50-$75 for the 1878 and anywhere from $25 to $100 for the 1879 medal; the latter would be very much a crap shoot since the medal is virtually unknown in the U.S. marketplace--meaning you might get a bargain or the opposite!