Verdun Medal (reverse)

  • Anthony de Francisci, Verdun Medal (reverse), 1920, patinated copper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Anthony de Francisci, 1966.51.73

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In 1920, Congress authorized a special gold medal honoring the sacrifice of the citizens of the French city of Verdun during World War I. The Battle of Verdun was one of the most devastating of the war and led to approximately 800,000 casualties. The United States Commission of Fine Arts, established by Congress in 1910, held a limited competition for medal designs in early 1920. Anthony de Francisci’s uniface artist’s sample represents the reverse of the true medal and shows the medieval ramparts of Verdun encircled with lances. Modern artillery shells soar overhead, symbolizing the devastating bombardment of the city as French and American allies fought against the Germans. The motto in the bottom arc, written in French, proclaims “They shall not pass!”

Verdun Medal (reverse)
On View
4 in. (10.2 cm) diam.
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Anthony de Francisci

Mediums Description
patinated copper
  • History – France – World War I
  • Allegory – place – Verdun
  • Emblem – Fleur-de-lis
  • Architecture Exterior – castle
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI