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« Last post by Henry Scott Goodman on March 01, 2020, 01:40:40 PM »

Memories of the world war


Silver, double-sided cast, stepped, 43mm x 38 mm (irregular heart-shaped, upper end pierced
inscribed, dated), 18.68g..  Ernsting WVZ113  Henry Scott Goodman Collection

Obverse: The field rises from the stepped edge to a flat surface; the picture motif is raised in relief. Above On a convexly raised lawn ground a Crucifix, placed slightly right of center, on the panel above the head of the corpus, an incuse INRI; from the right and standing in front of a cart overflowing with their only belongings an old, bearded man with hands raised in supplication, likewise from the left beside a scrawny tree a woman with a child in her arms and another leaning against her skirt, kneeling on the ground also supplicating with raised hands a girl (left) and a boy. In the lower exergue formed by the convex formed ground is a sword with the tip pointing to the left in two lines 1914 -1915, there at the upper left weakly legible L inscribed In the upper part raised L - G.

Reverse: Concave field with a double-stepped border; image motif with raised text. On the upper side of a broad-oval, convex (script) field with a border of leaves, a garland of leaves is shrunk through it: concave field with a double-stepped border; the image is raised and the script is raised. A garland of conifer needles is placed on the upper side of a broad oval, convex field with a border, with a sword inserted at an angle through it. Below the medallion, two lines of ANDENKEN A. D. WELTKRIEG, with a six-pointed star below; 800 stamped in the extreme bottom tip of the heart.

Rarity: R8 Unique in Silver

Private Collection (1 copy)

Literature: Wolf 1915, ill. p. 89 (VS): War and mourning jewellery * o.V.: o.T. (Gies, war jewellery); in: Die Plastik 6, 1916, H. 1, ill. plate 6 (VS) * (MC, 1916, p. 48, no. 532: appendix "refugees". silver)
Walter Liebenthal / Student medal - War of Liberation 1913
« Last post by Rabenauge on February 29, 2020, 03:42:17 AM »

(Walter Liebenthal).  1913. 

・ZVR ERINNERVNG / AN・DIE・ERHEBVNG・ ——  DER・NATION / / AM ・ 10 ・MÄRZ∙ /           ・1813 ∙ (in remembrance of the rising of the nation on 10 March 1813).  Cast iron, blackened, 88.5 mm, 140.35 g.  Vorzüglich (extremely fine), few minor corrosion spots, cleaned and stabilized.

Obverse: naked drummer, legs spread wide, vigorously beats a drum; in background flames and smoke rise from fortified town; title double-legend upper edge, divided by image; two-line inscription AM ・ 10 ・MÄRZ∙ / ・1813 ∙  below drummer's feet.  Reverse: legend VNTERRICHTSANSTALT・D・K・KVNSTGEWERBEMVSEVMS・ZV・BERLIN・ (School of the Royal Applied Arts Museum, Berlin) surrounding edge; four-line inscription GEGEBEN・AM・TAGE / DES・XXV・JÄHRIGEN / REGIERVNGSJVBILÄVMS / KAISER・WILHELMSII. (presented on the the 25-year jubilee reign of Emperor Wilhelm II) ; two crossed palm fronds below inscription.

Cf: Steguweit, Wolfgang.  2009.  Ars Juventuti: Berliner Schülermedaillen von der Unterrichtsanstalt des Kunstgewerbemuseums zur Hochschule für bildende Künste.  Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Münzkabinett, p. 113: 77.

The date 10 March 1813 may refer to the official inaugural date of the Iron Cross by the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III, the first military order to be awarded to merited individuals regardless of rank.  There was much Prussian activity in March 1813, as the nation broke its alliance with Napoleon and initiated military action against him, but the establishment of the Iron Cross is the only historical event I have thus far found recorded for the 10th day of the month.  Perhaps the open eligibility of that order is indicative of the "rising of the nation" as a whole - as opposed to the aristocracy alone - referred to on the medal's legend.

I would appreciate comments or clarification about the memorial date of this medal from any reader more knowledgeable of the War of Liberation period in Prussian history.
Unknown Artists / Student award medal 1913
« Last post by Rabenauge on February 29, 2020, 03:33:06 AM »

Unknown medallist.  1913. 

1913 / VNTERRICHTS / ANSTALT / DES KGL. / KVNSTGEWERBE / MUSEUMS / Franz Blazek / BERLIN (School of the Royal Applied Arts Museum, Berlin).  Cast bronze, dark brown patina with burnished highlights, 74.9 mm, 126.4 g.  Fast gussfrisch (near as-cast).  Rare, probably unique (see below).

Obverse: she-wolf lying across field to left, head turned back to right, suckles two fat, naked children; inscription K K G M (Königliche Kunst-Gewerbe-Museum) upper right.  Reverse: eight-line title inscription.

Reference: Steguweit, Wolfgang.  Ars Juventuti: Berliner Schülermedaillen von der Unterrichtsanstalt des Kunstgewerbemuseums zur Hochschule für bildende Künste.  Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Münzkabinett, 2009.  Although this medal design is not illustrated or listed, the book nevertheless contains much relevant information which is cited below.

In the early Twentieth Century, the Berliner Unterrichtsanstalt (founded 1866) was directed by the architect Bruno Paul (1874 - 1968) and employed a number of notable artists as instructors, among them the sculptors Ludwig Gies, Wilhelm Gerstel, Fritz Klimsch, Waldemar Raemisch, Walter Reger, Edwin Scharff, Richard Scheibe, and Joseph Wackerle.

Pupils and students of the faculties of applied- and free arts, as well as architecture, participated in an internal competition for production of awards medals, submitting their designs as 75 mm models in plaster or wax.  The best models were selected by a jury comprised of heads of the individual faculties, especially the sculpture instructors.  At the end of the school year, the final bronze casts would be awarded to other students for their achievements.  Moreover, each recipient was allowed to select "his" or "her" medal from the pool of winning designs chosen by the jury, and those models were then distributed to the Berlin foundries (Barth, Gladenbeck, Noack) for production.  Very few casts were made,  possibly only a single example, and in most cases not exceeding ten (Steguweit, p.11).  A few additional medals might be ordered and labeled as collector's pieces (Sammler-Exemplare; e.g. catalog no. 10, p. 48).  Thus these medals are often quite rare, especially an example bearing a recipient's name.

Franz Blazek (1887 - 1941), originally trained as a sculptor in Vienna, continued his studies in the Berliner Unterrichtsanstalt 1906 - 1914, and became a sculpture-class assistant 1914 - 1916, under the instructor J. Wackerle.  Simultaneously he worked at Majolika-Manufaktur Karlsruhe and Porzellan-Manufaktur Nymphenburg (Steguweit, p. 134).

The script style of the name Franz Blazek on the present award medal is the same as that of his initials FB on his medal selected for the 1913 Befreiungskrieg (War of Liberation) and Kaiser Wilhelm II Jubilee commemoration (as shown in Steguweit, p. 112, no. 76).
It would, however, be a mistaken assumption that Blazek's name on this medal indicates that he was its designer.  The full name spelled out is rather that of the recipient, whereas the medallist's identity, if present, would be marked by initials (Steguweit, p. 51, note to catalog no. 13).  We conclude that the present example of this medal was awarded to Blazek, but unfortunately the medallist remains anonymous.
« Last post by Henry Scott Goodman on February 25, 2020, 09:59:52 PM »


1915, Cast Bronze, 45.2bb x 39.2mm, 18.75g, UNC, Ernsting WVZ 114b, unrecorded variety.  Henry Scott Goodman Collection

Heart-form with slightly concave field with remnants of graduated and raised edge. The image and script are raised sculpturally.

OBVERSE: On the grass covered ground a crucifix with an INRI plate at top leans back, and to the left. On the cross is Christ emanating aural light from his head; at the base rests a family of refugees. On the left is a little boy with hands raised in prayer; on the right is a young mother in three-quarter profile holding a baby. An old man with beard stands in profile facing left, he has his hands raised in prayer. He wears large boots and carries the family’s personal belongings on his back (pots, pans, baskets). In the exergue of the medal the raised script of 1914-15. The artist’s initials L G are located at the top on the triangular attachment.

REVERSE: An empty rectangular tablet. On the upper edge, diagonally from left to right, is a sword with its tip lowered and a wreath of leaves near its handle. On the left and right of the tablet are two eight-pointed stars. Raised script arches across the field from left to right and reads, ANDENKEN A. - D.WELTKRIEG (In Memory of the World War).

Rarity: R-8

Known Examples: 3 (1 silver, 1 bronze, 1 iron)
Number in Museum Collections: 1 (iron) located at Vienna, Kunsthistoriches Museum (Art History Museum).
Number in Private Collections: 2 (1 silver, 1 bronze)
« Last post by Henry Scott Goodman on February 24, 2020, 10:23:32 PM »


1915, Cast bronze, 46.7mm x 43.8mm, 23g, UNC, Ernsting WVZ 112a, unrecorded variety.  Henry Scott Goodman Collection

Heart-form with convex obverse surface, and multi-staged edge. Concave reverse surface with multi-staged edge. Loop for suspension.
Both sides have the image and script raised sculpturally.

OBVERSE: In the middle an oven with ruinous, yet smoking chimney; on the right a young female with long hair, holding a swaddled baby, to the left of her two children sitting on the oven’s edge, to her feet, right, a little girl and left, a cat arching its back. On the left, an old bearded man, a little child holding his left hand with both her hands. Signed in the exergue with an L G.

REVERSE: A long rectangular empty tablet, above a German pickelhaube, the chinstrap entwined with a wreath, a garland of leaves lying across the tablet’s corners. Inside the garland-semicircle: ANDENKEN A. - D.WELTKRIEG (In Memory of the World War).

Rarity: Unique in Bronze
Known Examples: 2 (1 bronze, 1 iron, unchased)
Number in Museum Collections: 0
Number in Private Collections: 2

Ludwig Gies / Leben und Tod
« Last post by Henry Scott Goodman on February 23, 2020, 04:48:16 PM »

(Life and Death)

Ludwig Gies 1911, Cast, two-sided, bronze medal, 63.4mm, 68.20g, Edge-Punch: „C.POELLATH SCHROBENHAUSEN“,
Ernsting WVZ 5.  Henry Scott Goodman Collection.

Obverse/Reverse exhibit the same field with a multi-profiled, stepped border: each depicted above an exposed ground line
with pearl ends; the image motifs are sculpturally raised in form.

Obverse: In profile to the left, a Centauride leaping over a thorn bush with a crown and a diaphanous drapery of flowing robes, in her raised right hand a bowl with a fountain and water running over the edge.

Reverse:  In profile to the left on an emaciated lion crouches death as a skeleton, on his head a similar crown as the Centauride of the obverse, over his right shoulder a scythe, holding an hourglass with both hands.  Below the bottom line raised LUDW• - GIES• inscribed.

Transferred from Poellath at the end of 1911.  Probably the first work within the framework of the early pieces created by Gies with allegorical and mythological themes.

Rarity: R7 Extremely Rare (4-12)

One (1) known in private collection
London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals;
Munich, Staatliche Münzsammlung (National Coin Collection);
Paris, Musée d’Historie Contemporaine (Museum of Contemporary History);
Ramat Aviv, Kadman Numismatic Museum;
Schrobenhausen, Heimatmuseum;
Vienna, Kunsthistoriches Museum (Art History Museum)

Anton Grath / St Michael
« Last post by Rabenauge on February 18, 2020, 04:47:42 PM »

Anton Grath.  1915. 

TU UM DEIN  ——  SCHWERT  ——  ZÄUM' AUF DEIN ROSS / UND ZEUCH  ——  VORAN  ——  DEM HEERE! / ES GILT —— DIE  ——  DEUTSCHE EHRE / SANKT MICHEL SALVA NOS (put on your sword, bridle your horse and lead the army!  It stands for German honor.  St Michael save us).  Single-sided cast iron, blackened, 68.00 mm, 61.60 g.  Vorzüglich (extremely fine).

Haloed saint in knight's surcoat to left, upright lance right hand, sword left side, mounted on standing warhorse, arched necked, long, combed mane; four-lined title legend separated by image; last line in exergue; year date 1915 center below horse's belly; artist's signature A. GRATH lower right above exergue.

Cf: Weisser, B., "Medailleure in Deutschland während des Ersten Weltkriegs, Teil 11: Theodor von Gosen und Anton Grath", MünzenRevue Heft 9, 2015, pp. 37 - 43 (text and illustration, pp. 42 - 43, bronze example).

The legend on this medal is taken from the first verse of an 1899 poem "Der deutsche Michel" by the Austrian poet and priest Ottokar Kernstock (1848 - 1928), later transcribed as a choral work by Arnold Schönberg among others: "Sankt Michel, der vor Gottes Thron / Hält mit den Engeln Wache, / Du bist der Deutschen Schutzpatron; / Entscheide unsre Sache! / Tu um dein Schwert, zäum' auf dein Roß / Und zeuch voran dem Heere! / Es gilt die deutsche Ehre! / Sankt Michel, salva nos! (St Michael, who stands guard with the angels before the throne of God, you are the Germans' patron saint; decide our cause!  Put on your sword, bridle your horse, and lead the army!  It stands for German honor!  St Michael save us) (Weisser, pp. 42 - 43).  The Archangel (St) Michael is the patron of military forces in many Roman Catholic countries.
Anton Grath / St George
« Last post by Rabenauge on February 18, 2020, 04:42:51 PM »

Anton Grath.  (1915?). 

SANKT JÖRG (St George)---- DEUTSCH ALLERWEGE AN DER / DONAU UND AM RHEIN ! (German throughout from the Danube to the Rhine).  Single-sided cast bronze, light brown patina, 69 mm, 73.4 g.  Vorzüglich (extremely fine); ink inscription (antique German longhand) on blank reverse: 11.57/18 — / Köllach.

Haloed saint, in medieval knight's surcoat, on horseback to right, sharply reins horse and drives lance downward into mouth of bat-winged dragon under horse's hooves; title legend name left, double legend right; artist's signature A GRATH in exergue.

Cf: Klose, Dietrich O. A.  2016. Europas Verderben 1914 1918: Deutsche und österreichische Medaillen auf den Ersten Weltkrieg, p. 123: 9.10 (iron example).
Oskar Thiede / A free, new Austria
« Last post by Rabenauge on February 04, 2020, 04:31:52 PM »

Oskar Thiede.  (1918?).  EIN FREIES  ——  NEUES REICH (a free new realm).  Single-sided cast iron, blackened, 71.2 mm, 126.06 g.  Vorzüglich (extremely fine).  Rare.

On a ground line in front of flaming ruins, slender, naked man, en face, legs apart, both hands swinging immense flag displaying heraldic arms of Austrian provinces; title legend center left, center right, separated by flag; artist's signature O・THIEDE in exergue; raised rim.

Cf: Die Medaille der Ostmark.  1938.  Wiener Bund für Medaillenkunst, p. 40, no. 62; pl. 70.  Listed as premium (bonus) medal of the Medaillenvereinigung der Genossenschaft der bildenden Künstler, Wien (Medal Consortium of the Co-operative of Visual Artists, Vienna).

Commemorates the establishment of a republic in Austria (the mostly German-speaking provinces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) following the military collapse and breakup of the Empire in October 1918.  The newly-established state initially sought union with Germany, but this intention was denied by the Allied Powers, and the Treaties of St Germain and Versailles (1919) expressly forbade such a union.  Following this failure, the name of the country was changed to the Republik Österreich.  Presumably this medal celebrates the hoped-for Deutsch-Österreichische Republik rather than the separate state enforced by the peace treaties.
Georg Leschnitzer / Medical Officer Dr Schlacht
« Last post by Rabenauge on January 24, 2020, 03:41:27 AM »

Georg(?) Leschnitzer.  1917. 

STABSARZT DR. SCHLACHT, CHEF DES GROSS BERLINER VERWUNDETEN TRANSPORTWESENS (Medical Officer Dr. Schlacht, Head of the Greater Berlin Transport System for the Wounded).  Cast iron, blackened, 100.0 mm, 367.05 g.  Vorzüglich - gussfrisch (extremely fine - as-cast).  Scarce.

Obverse: Profile portrait bust to left in military collar, close-cropped hair, small up-turned mustache, Schmisse (fraternity dueling-scars) left cheek; title legend around edge from lower left. 

Reverse: On ground line, two medical orderlies transport wounded man on legged, semi-reclining stretcher from left to right; upper center legend KRIEGSJAHRE (war years); inscribed year dates 1914  -  1917 in exergue under ground-line; pearled border.

Other than a listing from Leipziger Münzhandlung Heidrun Höhn,  Auktion 73, 12 January 2011, lot 489, I have to date (Jan 2020) found no other published record for this medal.  Neither have I seen any other medal made by Leschnitzer (presumably the Berlin sculptor Georg Leschnitzer) nor found any further information about Dr Schlacht.  Any additional information would be welcome.
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