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Electricite de France/ Gaz de France


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I've seen various medals of this design and struck in different metals. The first ones I saw were minted in the 1940's and commemorated 20 yrs (bronze) 25 yrs (silver) and 30 yrs (gold) service. The group i've just acquired were struck in the 1960's and sadly the silver is now silver plated bronze and the gold isn't even gold plate and barely qualifies as even gold coloured bronze. The obverse design is however `memorable' and extremely well struck up. I'm struggling to work out the significance as to why `Pan' as the characterisation on the design (?). Seems to me to be a strange choice but i'm probably missing something that the typical employee of these state industries would have completely understood (?). The reverse is certainly `on topic', but a tad unimaginative / bland in my humble opinion.

 

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I have always admired the obverse of this medal and I can enlighten you as to its meaning. The creature depicted is a satyr, warming himself before the Gift of Fire from Prometheus. Apparently Prometheus had warned both Man and the Satyrs to be careful of his gift, but some satyrs tried hugging it and lost their beards. The lamp hanging from the tree indicates that fire gives light as well as heat. The medal contrast the gift of fire with the gift of electricity and gas to mankind

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I like that reverse a lot too! And where I work, they had a banquet this past weekend for 750 folks who have worked there for 35 years or more. You read that right. We just had a retirement party for a many who worked there for 45 years and I've met folks who've worked there almost twice the time I've been alive.

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Thanks for the background to the obverse design......and the detail of a satyr clutching the fire. Now the design makes a lot of sense and i've learned from another fascinating aspect of ancient mythology.

 

indeed, `post tenebras, lux'. :)

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