Author Topic: von Müller / SMS Emden  (Read 460 times)

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  • Lotte Benter.  1918.  Karl v Müller Fregattenkapitän (Karl v[on] Müller, Frigate Captain).  Cast iron lightly blackened, 106 mm, 336.21 g.  Vorzüglich (extremely fine).  Very rare!
     
    Obverse: High-relief profile bust of subject to left in military collar and coat; title legend script (von Müller's signature?) deeply incised left edge; three-line incised artist's signature and year-date LOTTE / BENTER / 1918 lower right; later two-line incised engraving 1. Preis f. Jub. Staffel / 25 H. V. 1931 (see below). 

    Reverse: Low-relief seascape with profile of SMS Emden at right steaming left; at left on horizon second ship steaming to left; overhead radiant sun; sharply raised rim.

    Cf: Schulman, La Guerre Européenne, Catalogue LXXIII 1919, p. 72: no. 725 (bronze example).
    Cf: Frankenhuis, M.  (1919?).  Catalogue of Medals - Medalets and Plaques Relative to the World War 1914 - 1919, p. 123: no. 958 (artist's name misspelled LOTTE BEUTER).

    For another illustrated example sold at auction in 2015: https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/special-collections/lot.php?specialcollection_id=365&lot_uid=264211

    In an appended note to the listing of this medal Schulman (1919, p. 72) explains: "Modelée d'après nature pendant le séjour à Noordwijk a/Zee (Hollande) du Capitaine de frégate v. Müller." (Modeled from life during the stay [i.e. internment] in Noordwijk aan Zee (Holland) of Captain v. Müller).

    In 1931, this particular example was awarded as first prize of an event likely marking the jubilee celebration (Jubiläum), perhaps of an historical association (Historischer Verein), whence the engraving to right of the profile.  I have thus far not been able to trace a precise reference to this organization.

    Karl von Müller (1873 - 1923) commanding the light cruiser SMS Emden, enjoyed a highly successful, albeit brief, career as a commerce raider in the Indian Ocean in the opening months of the First World War, acquiring a reputation for chivalry by his efforts to avoid harming civilians or merchant seamen on the ships taken or sunk.  The Emden was finally run aground and destroyed  by the light cruiser HMAS Sydney 8 November 1914 at the Battle of Cocos.  Müller and most of his crew were captured (though some evaded capture and returned to Germany).  The prisoners were detained at Malta, but Müller was later separated and taken to Britain.  Debilitated by malaria, he was transferred in a humanitarian prisoner exchange to neutral Holland for treatment, and was then repatriated to Germany shortly before the Armistice.  He was considered one of Germany's greatest naval heroes, and was commemorated on a number of medals, Benter's certainly being the most artistic.
von Müller / SMS Emden
« on: September 05, 2022, 07:31:35 AM »

Lotte Benter.  1918.  Karl v Müller Fregattenkapitän (Karl v[on] Müller, Frigate Captain).  Cast iron lightly blackened, 106 mm, 336.21 g.  Vorzüglich (extremely fine).  Very rare!
 
Obverse: High-relief profile bust of subject to left in military collar and coat; title legend script (von Müller's signature?) deeply incised left edge; three-line incised artist's signature and year-date LOTTE / BENTER / 1918 lower right; later two-line incised engraving 1. Preis f. Jub. Staffel / 25 H. V. 1931 (see below). 

Reverse: Low-relief seascape with profile of SMS Emden at right steaming left; at left on horizon second ship steaming to left; overhead radiant sun; sharply raised rim.

Cf: Schulman, La Guerre Européenne, Catalogue LXXIII 1919, p. 72: no. 725 (bronze example).
Cf: Frankenhuis, M.  (1919?).  Catalogue of Medals - Medalets and Plaques Relative to the World War 1914 - 1919, p. 123: no. 958 (artist's name misspelled LOTTE BEUTER).

For another illustrated example sold at auction in 2015: https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/special-collections/lot.php?specialcollection_id=365&lot_uid=264211

In an appended note to the listing of this medal Schulman (1919, p. 72) explains: "Modelée d'après nature pendant le séjour à Noordwijk a/Zee (Hollande) du Capitaine de frégate v. Müller." (Modeled from life during the stay [i.e. internment] in Noordwijk aan Zee (Holland) of Captain v. Müller).

In 1931, this particular example was awarded as first prize of an event likely marking the jubilee celebration (Jubiläum), perhaps of an historical association (Historischer Verein), whence the engraving to right of the profile.  I have thus far not been able to trace a precise reference to this organization.

Karl von Müller (1873 - 1923) commanding the light cruiser SMS Emden, enjoyed a highly successful, albeit brief, career as a commerce raider in the Indian Ocean in the opening months of the First World War, acquiring a reputation for chivalry by his efforts to avoid harming civilians or merchant seamen on the ships taken or sunk.  The Emden was finally run aground and destroyed  by the light cruiser HMAS Sydney 8 November 1914 at the Battle of Cocos.  Müller and most of his crew were captured (though some evaded capture and returned to Germany).  The prisoners were detained at Malta, but Müller was later separated and taken to Britain.  Debilitated by malaria, he was transferred in a humanitarian prisoner exchange to neutral Holland for treatment, and was then repatriated to Germany shortly before the Armistice.  He was considered one of Germany's greatest naval heroes, and was commemorated on a number of medals, Benter's certainly being the most artistic.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2022, 02:20:28 PM by Henry Scott Goodman »