1886 La Chaux-de-Fonds
Actual 45 mm size by Edouard Durussel, Berne
Helvetia allegorical personification representing the Confederation, clad in elegant flowing robes, adorned with the beloved Cross on her dignified tunic armor.
Steadfast in purpose, displaying iron-willed leadership to her cantons, she towers maternally over an earnest youngling of the Confederacy, a true reflection of great youthful potential and pride. With a vigilant eye, her sure right arm points eastwards, as her champion heeds her call to arms.
Her left hand leans upon the proud blazon municipal coat of arms of noteworthy La Chaux-de-Fonds, (Tierced per fess, of Azure three Mullets of Five Argent in fess, Argent a Hive Or surrounded by seven Bees of the same, and chequy Argent and Azure), the grand venue of the shot compete.
Of the Confederacy youngling, immaculately attired in heritage lacy tunic finery, he faithfully heeds her declaration, poised in zealous concentration, keenly focused in calibrating his aim as led.
In the background, homes and watch-making workshops sit side by side beneath the mountainous Swiss Jura Alps ranges, all silent witnesses to historical encounters of great significance.
"NOS BRAS ET NOS CEOURS LA PATRIE!" - "Our Arms and Our Hearts, For Our Homeland"
Couplet blazons emblem of ornate shields, of Confederacy and Cantonal Neuchâtel marking their partnership. A champions' pair of Perkussionsstutzer carbines, uniformly diagonally crossed, symbolising the sharpshooter rifles bestowed at the grand shooting competition.
At the centre, the arms of Sankt Gallen is proudly raised, the quintessential allegory for freedom after the French Revolution, chronicles the peaceful Neuchâteloise revolution (1848), moving from monarchy to Canton republic, leading to the establishment of the Confederacy Federation.
Below the arms lies the victorious goblet trophy upon intertwined laurel branches, victors' garlands worn on the shoulders of winners of the grand Schützenfest.
“The city was founded in 1656. Due to the altitude (1,000 m [3,300 ft]) and the lack of water (porous sandstone underground) the land is ill suited to farming. Planning and buildings reflect the watch-making artisans need of rational organization.
Partially destroyed by a fire in 1794, La Chaux-de-Fonds was rebuilt following a grid street plan, which was and is still original among Swiss cities, the only exception being the easternmost section of the city, which was spared of fire.
This creates an interesting and obvious transition from the old section to the newer section. The roads in the original section are very narrow and winding, which then opens up to the grid pattern near the town square.
Economic activity accelerated in the 18th century with the development of the city's lace and watch-making industries. Its growth and prosperity is mainly bound up with the watch-making industry. It is the most important centre of the watch making industry in the area known as the Watch Valley.
La Chaux-de-Fonds is also a world-renowned centre of Art Nouveau.
In 2009, La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle, its sister city, were jointly awarded UNESCO World Heritage status for their exceptional universal value.”
An “Art Nouveau” medal in remembrance of the rich heritage of the city La Chaux-de-Fonds back to its 18thcentury roots in the lace-making industry, as meticulously and intricately designed by the engraver onto the focus on the youngling shooter of this medal.