Nicolas Salagnac

Creation of a medal based on Dupré’s 10-gram gold medal that had never been created

Creation of a medal based on Dupré’s 10-gram gold medal that had never been created

Creation of a medal based on Dupré’s 10-gram gold medal that had never been created

The association of the Friends of the Franc, entrusts the creation and engraving to Nicolas Salagnac for this coin/medal, based on Augustin Dupré’s drawing of the 10 grams gold, and publishes this gold coin, which had never seen the light of day.

Augustin Dupré, is well known by numismatists for the quality of these coins and medals. He intervened in this period that marked France forever, the French Revolution.
Dupré is famous for his engravings, but I fell under the spell of his drawings, his sketches… In April 2014, the Bonhams sale took place. In this sale was the drawing of Dupré’s 10 gram gold (the drawing dates from May 1797). The Association des Amis du Franc acquires it from an American buyer. The drawing then returns to France.

« This project, or rather this beautiful adventure begins on November 20, 2017, with an email from Christophe Charve, from the association Les Amis du Franc, a first contact, advised by my friend master engraver Jean-Luc Maréchal (thank you).
The association has just turned 20 years old, and it wishes to engrave a coin medal with Dupré’s famous drawing as the basis.
Several visits to the workshop, to discover my universe, my tools, my stories, my journey, my learning, allow me to build this project.

Project taken over in 2019 by Philippe Théret, Xavier Bourbon and Franck Perrin, to bring it to completion, because time always passes too quickly, and we are at the dawn of 2020.
I took particular pleasure in engraving these two matrices. Dupré’s drawing is a model of its kind. Its realization seems easy, balanced and calm, this woman imposes it. The drape runs over his body and legs, and there is one of the difficulties, to respect the lines,
the meaning, the reliefs, the hollows, and the passages… And of course, when you are in negative in the matrix, you have to see all this upside down.
Making a plaster impression is simple, water from the plaster and you sink into the impression. Yes but with all these details, how not to have bubbles, micro-bubbles… There are always technical problems that constrain, but you have to deal with them…
I took great pleasure in translating Augustin Dupré’s work as accurately as possible.
A beautiful exercise for me, a kind of Rome Prize to continue my apprenticeship and put myself at the service of an artist. I didn’t count my time, a luxury not easy today in a world that should be profitable.
I love my job and my energy is passion. Thank you for entrusting me with this creation after Dupré. I let you enjoy this piece of metal, resulting from the work of a beautiful human chain, where everyone has done their best – thank you all. »

Here are my few steps to the birth of this former gold coin project, which in 2020 becomes a bronze or silver coin minted, and sometimes gold-plated.

First step: the sculpture from the drawing.
The choice of the final diameter is 35 mm. So my sculpture will be three times bigger, 105mm. First of all engraved on a medium by machining by plane with concave and convex volumes.
Here is my base, then come my shops, my riffles to work on the model and find the passages.

Then molding a plaster impression, a positive one. This is where I finalize, under a microscope to respect every detail.

Second step: reduction of the obverse and reverse on the steel dies using a lathe to be reduced.
The sculptures on the obverse and reverse are molded to have a hollow, negative imprint. The lap is set and the reductions are made.

Third step: the hand finishing.
It is here that the engraver brings the final touches, the materials, refines the passages, breaks the volumes that have remained a little dry.
This is done at the shop, but you still need the right tools. I am not in the fine, but in the ultra fine, I need flatfish of all sizes.
I then take a little time to look for the ad hoc shops in the boxes donated (thank you again) by Bernard Turlan, honorary master engraver of the Monnaie de Paris.

And then the chisel microphones to refine my letters, and then to put this subtle little matte in the background and thus make this woman stand out here posed but radiant.And then polishing with ceramic strips and also at the ice polished shop.

But one day, you have to stop. I can already hear your question: how long to do these two engravings… And to this question, I never know how to answer well, even if I took some time… I can tell you that I like to spend the time that it takes, so let’s say: « a certain time… »

Fourth step: edition by striking medals – Mauquoy.


Images Mauquoy, thank you.

Fifth step: gold-plated medals – Bronze d’art français.

 Thanks to Pierre Peycelon de Bronze d’Art Français, goldsmith and his collaborators: Daniel Rietsh and Rufino Grande for this operation which gives the medal this beautiful shimmering colour.
Link to the website Bronze d’Art Français.

Thanks to all the little hands that made it possible to move from an idea, a sketch, a drawing to a small bas-relief shaped in metal for the collectors of these small quality objects that speak of our history.
Thank you to the Association des Amis du franc for entrusting me with this engraving, based on this beautiful drawing by our former general engraver of the Mint, Augustin Dupré.

Nicolas Salagnac
Medal winning engraver – Meilleur Ouvrier de France – Member of the Grands Ateliers de France

The selling prices are as follows (members of numismatic associations with a reduced price):

………………………… Public price including VAT………… Member price of numismatic association member TTC

Florentine bronze:……………………. 30 € ………… 25 €
Gold-plated bronze:…………………… 60 € ………… 50 €
Silver: …………………………………… 100 € ………… 80 €
Vermeil:………………………………… 160 € ………… 150 €

To benefit from the reduced price, members must go through the association. For others, the sales channel is our partner CGB.

The office of Amis du Franc:
Site web des Amis du Franc.