Secessionist Medals

Secessionist Artists - WWI 1914 -1918 => Karl May => Topic started by: Rabenauge on December 09, 2019, 08:12:31 AM

Title: Franktireur (sniper)
Post by: Rabenauge on December 09, 2019, 08:12:31 AM

Karl May.  1914. 

FRANKTIREUR (franc-tireur = free shooter, sniper, partisan).  Single-sided cast bronze vertical oval, yellow bronze with black shaded patina, hollow-cast reverse completely blackened, 107.20 x 42.68 mm; 45.33 g.  Vorzüglich (extremely fine).  Rare.

Desiccated corpse of a bearded partisan in civilian clothes hanged by the neck from a branch, a bandolier across his breast, his rifle slung behind his back, hollow eye sockets towards the viewer; three birds flying in lower field; title legend upper left edge; artists initials KM in cartouche lower left above year-date 14.

Cf: Bernhart, Max.  1915.  Kriegsmedaillen bayerischer Künstler, pl. XVI, no. 84.
Cf: Bernhart, Max.  1917.  Die Münchener Medaillenkunst der Gegenwart, pl. 36, no. 254.
Cf: Frankenhuis, M.  (1919?).  Catalogue of Medals - Medalets and Plaques Relative to the World War 1914 - 1919, p. 138: 1093 (attributed to C. May).
Cf: Feldmann, Achim.  2012.  Karl May: Bildhauer, Medailleur und Schmuckkünstler in München und Erlangen (Teil 2), in: MGM Joker KG, Feiner und alter und antike Schmuck.  Aus Privatbesitz, Katalog XXI, München, p. 7. 
Cf: Klose, Dietrich O. A. 2016.  Europas Verderben 1914 1918: Deutsche und österreichische Medaillen auf den Ersten Weltkrieg, p 233: 17.2.

Examples of this medal, like others of Karl May's casts, were finished in several different patinas (Cf: Feldmann, pp. 1, 7).

Following Germany's violation of Belgian neutrality, a number of civilians were executed for suspected sniper operations against invading German forces.  In addition, individual instances of civilian resistance often brought savage reprisals against entire villages accused of abetting franc-tireurs.