Avers : Unveiling of the Joan of Arc Statue New York City Décember 6th 1915 .
Revers : Les symboles de Jeanne d’Arc : épée, couronne et fleurs de Lys.
Dimension : 27×43 mm.

Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington

Anna Hyatt Huntington studied and worked in the United States before moving to Paris, a common practice among American artists, in 1906. There she became interested in the story of Joan of Arc, and decided to create a sculpture dedicated to the saint. In preparation for her work, Huntington studied the legend, and visited sites in France associated with Joan of Arc’s life. In her sculpture, Huntington chose to portray the moments before Joan of Arc’s first battle.

In 1910, Huntington submitted her life-sized, plaster statue of Joan of Arc to the Paris Salon where it won an honorable mention, despite an atmosphere of disbelief at a woman’s ability to produce such a piece. Joan of Arc was the first figurative piece that Huntington had ever exhibited, her previous work being primarily of animal themes.

While Huntington was in France, Joan-of-Arc admirers in New York formed a committee to raise funds to erect a statue in Riverside Park commemorating the 500th anniversary of the birth of Joan of Arc. In search of a sculptor, the committee held a competition, and Huntington’s design was chosen. Huntington then commenced further research on her subject, looking for acurate examples of period armor and battle equipment. She made adjustments to her design, and arrived at her final piece in 1915.

Joan of Arc was received in New York with wide praise. It was the first equestrian statue made by a woman to be placed in New York, as well as the first New York public sculpture memorializing a woman. There are four copies of the statue in other parts of the world.