Traditionally offered for a baptism, the medal or the cross are of particular importance. For the choice of this “lifetime” gift, two criteria are essential today: artisanal quality and 100% French manufacturing.
Each year, some 200,000 baptisms are celebrated in France. It is customary that on this occasion, the godfather and godmother offer the baptized a baptism medal as well as his chain. Family or loved ones, on the other hand, can offer a nice cross. Without a doubt, these gifts are safe and particularly symbolic values.
Medals: know-how inherited from centuries of history
Good news, French craftsmanship has not disappeared. Medals can still be made by hand! As Bruce Kirkpatrick, director of the Anne.K christening medallions factory, testifies, who points out that it takes no less than twenty different manual operations to obtain a medal that is finally ready to be purchased: “Our small family factory has the ambition to remain in the French artisanal tradition of excellence. This is why today, we add to the ancestral manufacturing process, the systematic correction by hand of each medal in order to remove any imperfection”, explains to Aleteia this enthusiast of a know-how inherited from centuries of history.
Founded in 2014, in the Gers, the Anne factory. K respects an art that combines the know-how of three rare professions: that of the medal artist, the engraver and the jeweler who strikes the medals. “There was a real decline in baptism medals in the 1960s and 1970s. Finally, it took a leap of two generations to take up the know-how of the excellent medal sculptors of the beginning of the 20th century”, notes his side, Anne Kirkpatrick, sculptor and medallist.
If the choice of the medal is generally up to the godmother, the godfather, meanwhile, takes care of the chain. To choose the right baptism medal, you must observe the effigy, the general finish, the thickness or the ring and the bail. For the baptism chain, it must match the medal and be strong enough to support its weight. A simple rule is that the chain has a weight equal to or greater than that of the medal.
As for its size, 45 cm is the most classic. However for a man, it is better to favor 50 cm at least. Several meshes are available. The most classic are the round convict link and the filed gourmette link.
Crosses: a traditional, noble and unique art
L’Atelier Piéchaud – Image Tailors like Anne. K, has been combining passion and spirituality for more than 70 years, putting its know-how at the service of unique religious art objects. This small family business, based in Charente, is now managed by Louis-Guillaume Piéchaud, 47 years old. In France, he is certainly the last goldsmith and bronzier exclusively specialized in sacred art. Great-grandson of the sculptor Anton Nagel, grandson of the sculptor Dominique Piechaud, Louis-Guillaume is a recognized craftsman. For three generations, the family business has been designing and making crosses of medieval inspiration. They are decorated with vitrified enamels at more than 800 degrees of unique and durable quality. “We want to perpetuate the traditional art of Limousin grand feu enamels from the Middle Ages. If you own an object from the Atelier Piéchaud, you are guaranteed to have an unparalleled piece in your hands”, explains Louis-Guillaume to Aleteia, proud to be able to offer “real handmade”. None of them are alike, and that’s what makes them so charming. The feeling of offering a “lifetime” gift: unique, timeless, meaningful and prayerful. The enamelled bronze cross is an ideal gift for a loved one or relative of the baptized. The contrast of the gilded bronze and the bright colors of the grand feu enamels will make this present a real treasure to keep for life.
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