October 19, 2014

Figure of the Week #64 WWI French Poliu

WWI French Poliu* by Mignalu
120mm (4 3/4" tall) aluminum figure.
Mignalu was the name Mignot put on their aluminum toy soldiers. Slush cast aluminium soldiers were made chiefly in France during the early and middle 20th Century. The unique sculpting on this large scale French soldier or Poliu has cubist feel with sharp angular features and probably dates back to the 1930s.

*Poilu is an informal term for a French World War I infantryman, meaning, literally, hairy one. The term came into popular usage in France during the era of Napoleon and his massive citizen armies, though the term grognard (grumbler) was also common. It is still widely used as a term of endearment for the French infantry of World War I. The word carries the sense of the infantryman's typically rustic, agricultural background. Beards and bushy moustaches were often worn. The poilu was particularly known for his love of pinard, his ration of cheap wine.

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