Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pair of Vintage Dali Medallions: "Dionysos et Pallas Athena" and "Unicorn Dionysiaque" (1967).

Pair of Vintage Dali Medallions (1967):
"Dionysos et Pallas Athena" and "Unicorn Dionysiaque"

When I first saw these medallions, I just knew they had to join my collection.  Now that I have them,  I can see just how phenomenal they are.

The first thing to notice is that they are huge--both are 80mm in diameter.  They each weigh more than 300g (Unicorn 310g; Athena 309g).  They are easily the largest and heaviest medallions in my growing collection.

The reverse of each medallion has a statement in French that reads:
Cette oeuvre de salvador dali a ete frappee dans les ateliers de la monnaie de paris au mois de mars 1967 pour le compte du club francais de la medaille ce tirage etant limite a cent cinquante exemplaires d'argent au premier titre numerotes de 1 a 150
I don't speak French, so I used an online translator to assemble this translation:
This work of Salvador Dalí was struck in the workshops of the Paris Mint in March 1967 on behalf of the French medal club.  This run is limited to one hundred and fifty copies in silver as the first edition numbered 1 to 150.
It appears that these medallions are struck in silver.  Normally, a silver medallion is stamped with a silver hallmark (usually on the rim).  The rim of each medallion is stamped "1967" with a hallmark that looks like a mouse followed by a "1."

It turns out that the hallmark is a Paris Mint (Monnaie de Paris) standard hallmark used on objects of silver to indicate 95% silver content.  The hallmark is actually a "corne d'abondance" or a cornucopia symbol.  This web site proved helpful in the hallmark identification.

Both medallions are limited to 150 of each; the Dionysos is number 40 of 150, and the Unicorn is number 37 of 150.

I wish I knew more about these medallions, but I can find no information about them in cyberspace.  I have collected Dali for years and I have never seen these before.  I may be the very first person to provide this much information about them.

The value is difficult to assess.  It appears that these are extremely rare, and they are vintage, which is a good feature.  The silver content of each is worth about $350 at current market value (~$36/troy oz).  Any collector value will only add to that.

I estimate that each medallion is worth a minimum of $400.


Anonymous said...

Hello i have the medallions that you have..however the medallion that I have is just one medallion. Both sides are signed by Salvador Dali one side is Dionysos et pallas athena and the other is Unicorn Dionysiaque. I can not find a mark where the 2 were put together? If you have any information I would love to know.

Dali Collector said...

That sounds interesting. I would like to know the diameter of the medal, and if you can send me some pictures?

Anonymous said...

I can do that....I have pictures ..the width across the middle is 1 1/4 inches..not sure what that is in diameter and it is about 1/8in thick.

Dali Collector said...

Wow, so your medal is small--much smaller than the two in my collection. I got your photos and I see that your medal is in a bezel. Are you sure that it is one medal, not two sandwiched together in the bezel? I have seen these smaller medals before, but never noted them to be double-sided, and never saw them in a bezel. Pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

I also have a Silver Dionysiaque and mine is correct 10 oz size with proper patina but is signed Dali and dated 1966 on the back under Unicorne Dionysiaque but NO text statng edition of 150 in fact it is smooth and blank under Dali and date!! It is hallmarked on the rim and next to the cornecopia symbol says 1ARGENT which also was a Paris Mint Hallmark for silver per research.
is it possible this could be a one off proof of some kind? These medals are beautiful master quality works of silver smithing! Hope some one responds as I would love to provide pics as to add archive on this ULTRA RARE piece. Thanks and very happy dali collecting to all!

Anonymous said...

I have done some research on the medallion that you described, the 9oz+ size, and I am speculating, based on my deductions, that it is part of a second issue created in 1968, totaling 1,000 medallions.