Secessionist Medals

Secessionist Artists 1919-1925 => Erzsébet von Esseö => Topic started by: Rabenauge on January 24, 2020, 03:36:40 AM

Title: Ruhr 1923
Post by: Rabenauge on January 24, 2020, 03:36:40 AM

Elisabeth (Erzsébet) von Esseö (Esső).  1923. 

R U H R —— 1 9 2 3.  Cast bronze, dark brown patina, 70.6 mm, 73,87 g.  Vorzüglich (extra-fine).  Very rare.

Obverse:  On substrate of skulls, an en face French-African colonial soldier, naked except for an Adrian helmet and a short leaf-skirt, holds two naked bodies, woman at left, man at right, by the scruffs of neck; horizon line across center field; title legend upper edge; artist's monogram  encircled ƎE at lower right; gradually rising rim. 

Reverse: Over idealized industrial Ruhr landscape of towering chimneys and (phallic?) silos, the large-scale radiant head of the Reichsadler to left; artist's monogram  encircled ƎE at center right; gradually rising rim.

Cf: Huszár, Lajos, and Béla Procopius. 1932. Medaillen- und Plakettenkunst in Ungarn, p.  202: 1956.  Mis-titled as "RUHR - 1924" (i.e. with incorrect year date).

This medal expresses popular outrage at the brutal French occupation of the Ruhr Valley (1923 - 1925) following Germany's inability to meet its war-reparations payments.  French troops in both this action and the earlier occupation of the Rhineland (1919 - 1923) involved some African colonial troops.  Germans considered the employment of these "racially inferior" soldiers a deliberate humiliation, and the press sensationalized incidence of crime, sexual and otherwise, as shaming, especially to German women.  Esseö's medal Die schwarze Schmach (black outrage) memorializes the Rhineland Occupation, for which the present medal is a fitting companion.