Picasso Silver Kilo from Monnaie de Paris
Pablo Picasso was called “bigger than life” by many art critics and historians, and so it is appropriate that Monnai de Paris (the Paris Mint) has produced one of the world’s largest coins in honor of “the most potent single force in the art of the 20th century” (John Canaday in The New York Times, Oct. 26, 2007)—whose full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso.
The rectangular-shaped coin has a €500 face value and weighs in at a hefty 1 kilogram of .900 fine silver. It features a portrait, signature and paint brushes on one side, with an engraving of his first Vallauris poster, produced in 1948, on the reverse. Only 500 coins will be produced in gem proof quality—each individually numbered on the edge by the venerable Paris Mint.—with an official issue price of 1,350 euros. The Picasso commemorative is the latest issue in the Paris Mint’s Great Painters series.
This 1948 poster was the first of many that Picasso did for exhibitions of the Vallauris Potters Association. He often used rust coloring in these posters to evoke the texture and color of the famous clays of the region--as he did for this whimsical bull design. These posters helped launch Picasso as a successful poster artist.
Since the days of ancient Rome, the Riviera town Vallauris, near Cannes in the south of France, has been known for its fine clay and pottery. In 1946, Picasso attended an exhibition of pottery making in Vallauris. After observing their potters at work, Picasso sat at a borrowed bench, and enthusiastically created his first ceramic figures. The infinite creative possibilities of ceramics that combined drawing, painting and sculpture so excited Picasso that he returned the next summer with sketches for new pieces, the first of many he was to create over the next 27 years.
The exclusive American dealer for the Picasso Silver Kilo Coin is Panda America, 3460 Torrance Blvd., Suite 100, Torrance, CA 90503; telephone 800-472-6327.