Secessionist Medals

Secessionist Artists - 1905 through 1913 => Hans Schwegerle => Topic started by: Rabenauge on March 28, 2020, 04:16:37 PM

Title: Walpurgisnacht
Post by: Rabenauge on March 28, 2020, 04:16:37 PM

Hans Schwegerle.  (1907). 

WALPURGIS / NACHT (St Walpurga's Night).  Cast bronze, brown patina, 64.54 mm, 60.04 g.  Edge-punch ✽ (6 o'clock).  Fast gussfrisch (near as-cast).  Scarce.

Obverse: Naked "witch" flying to right on a broomstick held in her left hand, her long, curling tresses trailing behind her as she turns head to her right and switches broom with forked stick in right hand; owl flying in front of her to right; two-line title inscription lower center; artist's initials ligatured HS in cartouche; hammered background. 

Reverse: Six-line inscription ✶ / ES∙TRÆGT∙DER∙BESEN / ∙TRAEGT∙DER∙STOCK∙ / DIE∙GABEL∙TRAEGT∙ / ES∙TRÆGT∙DER∙BOCK / ✶  (the broom carries one, the stick carries one, the pitchfork carries one, the buck [goat] carries one); hammered background; raised rim.

Cf: Habich, Georg.  1909/10.  "Eine Medaillen-Konkurrenz" in Kunst und Handwerk 60, p. 231: no. 418 (obverse).

Cf: Bernhart, Max. 1917.  Die Münchener Medaillenkunst der Gegenwart, pl. 46, no. 335 (obverse).

Cf: Heidemann, Martin.  1998.  Medaillenkunst in Deutschland von 1895 bis 1914. Die Kunstmedaille in Deutschland, Band 8, pp. 364, 487: no. 1295 (obverse illustrated).

Cf: Hasselmann, Wolfgang.  2000. Hans Schwegerle - Medaillen und Plaketten, p. 29, no. 14a (hammered background).

Production records from Carl Poellath, Schrobenhausen, indicate 29 examples were cast in bronze (Hasselmann, p. 29).  Hasselmann (p. 28) also records, and illustrates an example, that two rougher trial-casts were produced with smooth background.

St Walpurga, among her other powers, conferred protection against witchcraft, and bonfires were often lit on the eve of the saint's day to drive away evil sprits.  Walpurgisnacht was also the traditional night of a great witches' sabbath on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains.  In one of the more comic episodes of Faust: First Part of the Tragedy, Mephistopheles and Faust participate in the supernatural celebration.  The quote on the reverse is from 4000 - 4004 of the famous poem.