Secessionist Medals

Secessionist Artists - WWI 1914 -1918 => Ludwig Gies 1887-1966 => Propaganda => Topic started by: Henry Scott Goodman on May 18, 2020, 12:54:31 PM

Title: War Mongering
Post by: Henry Scott Goodman on May 18, 2020, 12:54:31 PM

(War Mongering)

1915, Cast bronze uniface, 50mm, 30.1g, Ernsting WVZ 74, Edge-punch; C.POELLATH SCHROBENH. Henry Scott Goodman Collection

A smooth and slightly concave surface; with raised edge and exergue foreground.

Image of a large head with distorted features, profile right, wearing a flat helmet with spike and chin-strap. The severed head is held above the anxious and gesticulating crowd on a pike, as is a clenched gauntlet. The men and women carry flags and banners. Rim inscription reads KRIEGS - HETZE (War Mongering). The artist’s initials, L·G·, are incised into the exergue.

Number in Museum Collections: 7

Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle (Hamburg Arts Center)
London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals
Munich, Staatliche Münzsammlung (National Coin Collection)
New York, American Numismatic Society
Stuttgart, Württembergisches Landesmuseum (Württemberg Regional Museum)
Vienna, Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (Museum of Military History)
Museum examples located in Hamburg, London, Munich, New York, Stuttgart, and Vienna. This is one of three available for private collection

Number known in private collections: 3

The rather ambiguous helmet on the severed head doesn’t provide a clue as to which participating nation it might belong to. The flat nature of the helmet resembles British helmets while at the same time the spike looks like a German military helmet.
Gies claimed during the censoring investigation that this medal was made to warn the Italians about the “German God of War” if they followed through with fighting the Austrians. His arguments were unconvincing and the medal was banned by the German High Command soon thereafter. It is likely that Gies created the medal to show the general war-mongering mood evident throughout Europe at the beginning of the war. It was also a subtle jab towards the bellicose German nationalists and state propaganda.