Secessionist Medals

Secessionist Artists - WWI 1914 -1918 => Erzsébet von Esseö 1883-1954 => Topic started by: Rabenauge on January 16, 2020, 03:04:01 AM

Title: Dr Ernö Petö
Post by: Rabenauge on January 16, 2020, 03:04:01 AM

Esseö, Elisabeth (Erzsébet) von.  1918. 

・DR・PETŐ・ERNŐ・OPERATEVR・ÆT・S・XXXII・1918 (Dr Pető Ernő, surgeon, aetatis suae XXXII - in the year of his age 32 - 1918).  Cast bronze, 68 mm, 108.91 g.  Vorzüglich (Extremely fine).

Obverse: Bust profile in military collar to right; title legend surrounding edge; artist's monogram encircled, ligatured ƎE at left center. 

Reverse: Nude athletic male figure with Pető's facial profile striding right to left, left hand wielding serpent like a whip above his head, right hand threatening Death, portrayed as partly shrouded, fleeing skeleton, right arm raised against doctor's assault, left hand supporting hourglass; vertical inscription AESKULAP (Aesclapius) at right; artist's monogram lower left.

Cf: Schulman.  1919.  La Guerre Européenne, Catalogue LXXV, p. 97, 893, pl. XX.

Cf:  Huszár, Lajos, and Béla Procopius. 1932. Medaillen- und Plakettenkunst in Ungarn, p. 202: 1961.

Cf: for an example in the Imperial War Museum.  Note misunderstanding of date text on medal to infer Dr Pető died in 1918 (see below).

The serpent is the ancient symbol of renewal and healing, and thus a companion of the mythical healer and physician Aesculapius.

Dr Ernö Petö (Hungarian Pető Ernő) (1886 - 1959) was a Reserve Colonel surgeon in the Royal Hungarian Army, known primarily for improvements to the care of wounded soldiers through both skilled surgery and innovations in rehabilitative therapy.  A converted Jew, he served in 1944 as a member of the Jewish Council of Budapest during the German occupation and attempted to use his connection with the Regent, Admiral Horthy, in largely unsuccessful attempts to thwart deportation of Jews from Hungary by German authorities.  He was later reported to be one of the last persons to speak with Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg prior to the latter's disappearance into Soviet captivity.