Medaille auf das Eidgenössische Schützenfest in Luzern

Medal commemorating the 'Eidgenössisches Schützenfest'

(Federal shooting festival) held 1979 in Lucerne
Signed Hans Erni
Silver, struck
weight, 20.071 g
diameter 33 mm
Inv. 1979.234.

2588px x 2756px
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Shooting festivals are part of a very old tradition in Switzerland, and they enjoyed renewed popularity in the C19. The first Federal shooting match was held in Aarau in 1824 and then they were repeated at short intervals, developing not just into national occasions, but increasingly taking on a political significance. After 1848 they became politically neutral events and have continued to be held at intervals up to the present day. From the C16 onwards tokens and medals (often given as prizes) tended to be popular at such festivals. If they corresponded to legal coins in weight and material, the 'Schützentaler' were accepted as currency during the festivals. Hans Erni (born Lucerne 1909) was commissioned to design the jubilee medal commemorating the 50th 'Eidgenössisches Schützenfest' held in Lucerne. His medal alludes to the story of Wilhelm Tell: the obverse (illustrated) shows the apple pierced by the arrow on the Swiss cross, and the reverse a crouching archer. Erni, well known as a painter, graphic artist, draughtsman, potter and sculptor, designed several superb high relief medals which were struck at the federal mint in Berne.

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