Secessionist Medals

Secessionist Artists - WWI 1914 -1918 => Ludwig Eberle => Topic started by: Rabenauge on January 13, 2020, 04:38:41 PM

Title: Aschaffenburg Red Cross
Post by: Rabenauge on January 13, 2020, 04:38:41 PM

Ludwig Eberle.  1915. 

1914- / 1915 / Rotes Kreuz / Aschaffenburg / a|M (Red Cross Aschaffenburg on the Main [River]).  Octagonal cast bronze, dark brown patina, 88 x 79 mm, 270.91 g.  Vorzüglich (extremely fine).  Rare.

Obverse: At left, crippled soldier to right, crutch under right arm, struggles to rise from seated position; center tall woman, en face in full-length pleated gown, extends right arm to encourage him, while supporting standing soldier at right leaning to left on her shoulder; artist's initials LE interlaced lower right; broad raised border. 

Reverse: Title inscription superimposed on a double-bordered cross; triangular section between cross arms decorated with spiral scroll decorations; narrow raised border.

Second example (variant): as above, but with central female figure entirely naked.  Dark brown patina, verdigris, 88 x 80 mm, 283.02 g.

Variant with naked female figure illustrated in catalog of Heinrich Winter Münzenhandlung, Auktion 103, 21/22. September 2007, p. 10, no. 41: "Große Bronzegußmedaille (v. Ludwig Eberle) auf das Rote Kreuz in Aschaffenburg in der Kriegsjahren 1914/1915.  88 x 80 mm.  Selten, sehr schön   175 —." 

While the vision of a naked "muse of healing" might well have been more attractive to recovering soldiers and is in line with other naked or diaphanously clothed figures in Eberle's medallic work, it is an unconventional representation of a figure of mercy in Red Cross imagery.  The naked variant may be the earlier one, which was deemed inappropriate by Aschaffenburg officials and altered accordingly by the artist, or it may have been produced as a variant for the collectors' market.