Secessionist Medals

Secessionist Artists - WWI 1914 -1918 => Ludwig Gies 1887-1966 => First WWI Series => Topic started by: Henry Scott Goodman on May 26, 2020, 12:03:57 PM

Title: The Bomb
Post by: Henry Scott Goodman on May 26, 2020, 12:03:57 PM

(The Bomb)

No Date (1914), Cast bronze uniface medal, 63.0mm, 68g., Edge-stamped: C.POELLATH SCROBENH., Ernsting WVZ 60, Frankenhuis 1353.  Henry Scott Goodman Collection

The otherwise flat field slightly rises toward the raised border, and with two arched steps to form the top edge of the raised, flat exergue.  Device motif is sculpturally raised from four overlapping planes.

On the left an exploding, spherical bomb; hit by the shrapnel or retreating before the explosion a group of soldiers coming from the right with lances and three flags, the front warrior in the group falling to the ground from shrapnel and another warrior at the rear falling from an additional explosion.   In the center of the exergue ‘DIE BOMBE’ is raised in one line; at the upper edge of the section left and right are incuse L· - G marked artists initials. 

Six examples are located in museum collections:

Brüssel, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Albert I Penningkabinett (Royal Library).
London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals
Munich, Staatliche Münzsammlung (National Coin Collection).
Paris, Musée d’Historie Contemporaine (Museum of Contemporary History).
Stuttgart, Württembergisches Landesmuseum (Württemberg Regional Museum).
Vienna, Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (Museum of Military History).

Three examples are known in private collections.


This medal expresses, in the collapse of the proud lance-carrying warriors, the disintegration of the once romantic ideal of warfare and the helplessness of the individual soldier before the overwhelming power of modern high explosives. 

According to Ernsting:

The mass destructive effect of modern war machinery was tempered back by Gies - if an attempt is made to historically classify this representation and its pictorial details - into the return of the epoch from the Middle Ages to modern times.  Thus, the allegorical theme of previous times becomes an iconological instrument in the depiction for the experience of war. 

Together with WVZ 55 to WVZ 62 a work probably created before December 1914 as one piece within a series of eight.