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Reference:4181 Joe Bousquet, 1938

Head and shoulders view of Joe Bousquet, seated, to left. A JOE BOUSQUET. A headless body, a star in place of its head, an owl perched on the hand of the left arm. The dates 1918 and 1938 on either side. By Rene Iche (signed on the reverse Iche). The edge stamped with a foundry mark and the number 94. Bronze, cast. 88 mm. (3.5 inches) in diameter.

Condition: Extremely fine and attractive.


Joe Bousquet (1897-1950), was a celebrated French surrealist poet, who was struck down and paralysed by enemy fire in 1918. The medal is a tribute from friends and the reverse, an allegory of wisdom within the tortured body, is an illustration from the first page of Joe Bousquet's book 'Le Mal d'Enfance', which was published in 1938. The medal is referred to in "Des Lignes Et Des Couleurs" by Jean Girou and by Jean Babelon in a copy of the 'Bulletin De La Société Des Amis de La Médaille'. Joe Bousquet spent much of his time at a house in Carcassonne, now a museum in his memory, and with his contemporaries, who visited, including Andre Gide and Paul Valdry, Paul Eluard and Max Ernst. Along with the writer Francois Francois-Paul Alibert and the philosopher Claude Louis Esteve, Bousquet belonged to Sud, the group of Carcassonne, and was co-editor of the culture magazine Cahiers. His first work was published in 1936, and as well as his poems, he left a comprehensive correspondence. Rene Iche (1897-1955) was apprenticed to a restorer of historical monuments and studied bronze casting and architecture. He began exhibiting sculpture at the Paris in the 1920s, and was responsible for a notable series of bas reliefs exhibited at the Paris Exposition Internationale in 1937. Rene Iche and Joe Bousquet were childhood friends, and much of the information in this entry has been supplied by the medallist's grand-daughter, Rose-Helene Iche. Rene Iche produced an equally graphic medal of the Spanish poet and man of letters, Federico Garcia Lorca, (# 64 in the Archive Page, under the year 1936). Bizarrely, both Bousquet and Lorca had been victims of the bullet, in the latter case fatally. Rene Iche's work is represented in various institutions throughout the world, including the Museum of Moden of Modern Art in New York. His last great work, commissioned by the Polish government and completed in 1954, was a memorial to those deported to Auschwitz. A website dedicated to the life and work of Rene Iche may be found at Would you please note that you are in the ARCHIVE page of the website, where all sold items are placed. For items that are still available, please go to the menu opposite and click on MEDALS & MEDALLIC ART.