Armand Bargas medallion compact Joan of Arc tribute compact mirror
A rare antique French powder compact made at around the time Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) was beatified in 1909. This compact was made as both a tribute to one of France's most famous heroines & also as a souvenir compact. The little compact is enchanting - the sides near to the lid are fashioned with pleats to resemble fabric. The lid has the most exquisite gilt medallion set atop. The medallion is signed by the famed medalist Armand Bargas who was active in the late 19th & early 20th century. The gilt lid is minutely detailed & the gilding vibrant & without wear. At the top of the medallion the words 'Jeanne ecoutant les voix' - which translates as 'Jeanne listening to the voice'.
It is said she received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine instructing her to support Charles VII and help him to recover France from English domination. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orléans. She was greatly admired after the siege was lifted only nine days later. After more victories Charles VII coronation finally took place at Reims. In 1430 Jeanne d'Arc was captured at Compiègne. She was put on trial by Bishop of Beuvais who was pro English & found her guilty. On 30th May 1431 she was burnt at the stake aged nineteen.
Jeanne stands with her head tilted up slightly & appears rapt with attention. In front of her sheep grazing & two are lying down - relaxed & unperturbed by her presence. The symbolism of the sheep not lost on Christians. The whole medallion is finely executed & it is signed 'Bargas'.
The lid lifts to reveal an excellent tiny beveled mirror which gives a clear & accurate reflection. The interior of the case & twisted rope bezel are gilded. All clasps & hinges work perfectly. The base is smooth metal. The compact is in very good condition.
This antique compact measures 4 cm & weighs 27.7 grams.
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