Secessionist Medals

Secessionist Artists - WWI 1914 -1918 => Ludwig Gies 1887-1966 => First WWI Series => Topic started by: Henry Scott Goodman on May 19, 2020, 12:01:59 PM

Title: Mars Throws Bombs Into a Fortress
Post by: Henry Scott Goodman on May 19, 2020, 12:01:59 PM
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(Mars Throws Bombs Into a Fortress)

1915, Cast bronze uniface, 63.5mm, 66.0g, Edge-Punched: C.POELLATH SCHROBENH.,  Ernsting WVZ 59  Henry Scott Goodman Collection

Flat field ends at slightly raised rim, sculpturally raised image with flat exergue.

From the left, a powerful fighter figure in right profile wearing spurred high boots, chest armor, saber at his waist, shields on his hands, and a highly plumed helmet. Carrying a container of bombs in his right hand, he crouches slightly to carefully deliver a bomb from his left hand into the already burning and smoking citadel. In the middle of the exergue are the incised initials, L · G · of the artist.
Number in Museum Collections: 6

Brüssel, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Albert I Penningkabinett (Royal Library)
London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals
Munich, Staatliche Münzsammlung (National Coin Collection)
New York, American Numismatic Society
Paris, Musée d’Historie Contemporaine  (Museum of Contemporary History)
Stuttgart, Württembergisches Landesmuseum (Württemberg Regional Museum)

Number known in Private Collections: 2

An interpretation of the iconography remains elusive although we might surmise that the fighter is a British cuirassier and, therefore, the artist may have had in mind a particular event of WWI, namely the British bombardment of the Ottoman forts of the Dardanelles in early 1915, however, Ernsting states that the architectural backdrop is reminiscent of the view of an Ottoman city and thus of the comparable depiction on WVZ 58 "Siege".  The possibility of an iconographic interpretation that the figure refers to an English guardsman and thus alludes to a concrete event of the First World War, such as the bombardment of the Dardanelles by British and French ships in November 1914, remains indisputable.  Together with WVZ 55 to WVZ 62 probably made before December 1914 as one piece within a series of eight.