Then go either to "Full Screen" or "Slide Show".
It’s happened again. Another rather innocuous-looking medal that commanded a fairly high price.
“LE VELOCIPEDE. La fantaisie le présente - L'industrie le patronne - La mode le reçoit - Le progrès l'encourage - Les arts utiles l'accueillent.
Perhaps an advertising promotion? Probably from the 1870s? Final eBay bid price was $412.
As a collector of Art Nouveau & Art Deco cycling medals, I was intrigued by this lovely 1873 specimen on eBay. Although earlier than “my period”, its historical significance certainly caught my attention.
Consider that the late 19th century “bicycle” designs fall broadly into three periods, typified by these developments:
· 1864 – 1866. Development and marketing of the front-wheel drive velocipede (aka “boneshaker”) by Michaux/Lallement. In use till circa 1872 (example: demise of the Phantom “boneshaker” company).
· 1870. James Starley’s large front wheel drive high-wheeler (aka “penny farthing”). In use by the general public till circa 1890.
· 1885. John Kemp Starley’s chain/rear-sprocket drive “Rover” (aka “safety” bicycle). Essentially in use thereafter.
Dated medals from the high-wheeler era are not particularly rare but I have never seen a velocipede example quite as early as this. I was apparently not alone and sadly, it proved to be out of my league, commanding a final bid price of $774.
Perhaps I no longer feel so bad if some aficionados are paying up to circa $10,000 for a contemporary bike. This beauty sold on eBay recently for $11,211, described as a “Top of the range” René Herse from 1977. Apparently made after Herse's death by Lily and Desbois.