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Jan Wysocki / St Barbara
« Last post by Rabenauge on January 18, 2020, 04:24:58 PM »
Jan Wysocki.  1914.  

SANCT — BAR= / BARA — ORA / PRO — NOB (St Barbara pray for us).  Cast bronze, dark brown patina, burnished highlights, 31.34 mm, 13.97 g.  Edge-punch KARL PÖLLATH  —  SCHROBENHAUSEN.  Vorzüglich (extremely fine).

Obverse: on low ground-line, haloed, crowned, and robed St Barbara standing contrapposto, in right hand an upright cannon barrel, in left the palm frond of martyrdom; three-line title inscription separated by figure, left and right respectively; above inscription ornamental scrollwork to either side of figure; artist's monogram incised intertwined IW lower left; pearled border separated by image within raised rim.  Reverse: on a ground-line, heavy artillery piece aiming to upper left; at lower left, upright shell; legend ARTILLERIE — IM WELTKRIEG (artillery in the World War) around upper edge separated by image; year-date 1914 in exergue; raise rim.

Cf: Schulman.  1916.  La Guerre Européenne, Catalogue LXV, p. 84: no. 802.

Cf: Bernhart, Max.  1917.  Die Münchener Medaillenkunst der Gegenwart, pl. 62, nos. 413, 413a.

Cf: Frankenhuis, M.  (1919?).  Catalogue of Medals - Medalets and Plaques Relative to the World War 1914 - 1919, p. 82: no. 611 ("Medal by W").

Cf: Klose, Dietrich O. A.  2016.  Europas Verderben 1914 1918: Deutsche und österreichische Medaillen auf den Ersten Weltkrieg, p. 124: 9.13.

Artillery piece depicted on reverse is a Škoda 30.5 cm Mörser (siege howitzer), likely model 1911.

Saint Barbara, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, is the patron saint of mining and artillery, associated with the latter through fire, explosions, and sudden death, as visited on her pagan father by a lightning strike following his decapitation  of his daughter in reprisal for her conversion to Christianity.  The saint's patronage of artillery forces is found throughout the Western World.
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Hugo Bendorff / General Beseler
« Last post by Rabenauge on January 18, 2020, 03:04:56 PM »
(Hugo Bendorff).  (1915).  

GENERAL V  BESELER  ———  NOWOGEORGIEWSK.  Cast bronze, dark brown patina, 103 mm, 382.3 g.  Edge-punch DS 60 —— 22 (indicating Deutsche Schaumünze [number] 60, [cast number] 22).  Vorzüglich- (extremely fine-), small edge nicks.

Obverse: profile portrait in military collar to right; title legend left and right edge, respectively.  Reverse: on ground-line naked classical god or titan striding to left with upraised hands brandishing fiery thunderbolts.

Cf: Schulman.  1917. La Guerre Européenne, Catalogue LXVII, p. 57: 588.

Cf: Frankenhuis, M.  1919 (?).  Catalogue of Medals - Medalets and Plaques Relative to the World War 1914 - 1919, p. 128: 1003.Cf:

Steguweit, W.  1998.  Das Münzkabinett und die Förderung der Medaillenkunst: Künstlerbriefe 1914-1918 Medaillenedition (Das Kabinett 5), p. 97: 2; p. 125 (pl. 1).

Cf: Klose, Dietrich O. A.  2016.  Europas Verderben 1914 1918: Deutsche und österreichische Medaillen auf den Ersten Weltkrieg, p. 49: 3.11.

An iconic, un-ornamented, but nevertheless monumentally impressive medal.  Though it is neither dated nor signed, the artist and year are well documented.
In August 1915, Armeegruppe Beseler, under the command of General der Infanterie Hans Hartwig von Beseler (1850 - 1921), besieged and overpowered the fortress of Nowogeorgiewsk (Novogeorgievsk), thus effectively ending Russian hegemony in Poland (Klose, p. 49).  Following this victory, Beseler was made Governor-general of German-occupied Poland and served in that capacity until the end of the war.
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Erzsébet von Esseö 1883-1954 / Dr Ernö Petö
« Last post by Rabenauge on January 16, 2020, 03:04:01 AM »

Esseö, Elisabeth (Erzsébet) von.  1918. 

・DR・PETŐ・ERNŐ・OPERATEVR・ĆT・S・XXXII・1918 (Dr Pető Ernő, surgeon, aetatis suae XXXII - in the year of his age 32 - 1918).  Cast bronze, 68 mm, 108.91 g.  Vorzüglich (Extremely fine).

Obverse: Bust profile in military collar to right; title legend surrounding edge; artist's monogram encircled, ligatured ƎE at left center. 

Reverse: Nude athletic male figure with Pető's facial profile striding right to left, left hand wielding serpent like a whip above his head, right hand threatening Death, portrayed as partly shrouded, fleeing skeleton, right arm raised against doctor's assault, left hand supporting hourglass; vertical inscription AESKULAP (Aesclapius) at right; artist's monogram lower left.

Cf: Schulman.  1919.  La Guerre Européenne, Catalogue LXXV, p. 97, 893, pl. XX.

Cf:  Huszár, Lajos, and Béla Procopius. 1932. Medaillen- und Plakettenkunst in Ungarn, p. 202: 1961.

Cf: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/8707 for an example in the Imperial War Museum.  Note misunderstanding of date text on medal to infer Dr Pető died in 1918 (see below).


The serpent is the ancient symbol of renewal and healing, and thus a companion of the mythical healer and physician Aesculapius.

Dr Ernö Petö (Hungarian Pető Ernő) (1886 - 1959) was a Reserve Colonel surgeon in the Royal Hungarian Army, known primarily for improvements to the care of wounded soldiers through both skilled surgery and innovations in rehabilitative therapy.  A converted Jew, he served in 1944 as a member of the Jewish Council of Budapest during the German occupation and attempted to use his connection with the Regent, Admiral Horthy, in largely unsuccessful attempts to thwart deportation of Jews from Hungary by German authorities.  He was later reported to be one of the last persons to speak with Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg prior to the latter's disappearance into Soviet captivity.
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Ludwig Eberle / Aschaffenburg Red Cross
« Last 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 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.
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Erzsébet von Esseö 1883-1954 / To the returned warriors
« Last post by Rabenauge on January 12, 2020, 10:22:03 AM »

Esseö, Elisabeth (Erzsébet) von.  1919. 

DEN・HEIMGEKEHR/TEN・KRIEGERN・・/DIE・UNGAREN・IN/MVENCHEN・1919・ (to the returned warriors [from] the Hungarians in Munich 1919).  Cast bronze, blackened, 53.08 mm, 48.12 g; vorzüglich (extremely fine).  Rare.

Obverse: Slender woman, turned slightly to right, in full-length classical dress and with short classical hairstyle, playing violin. 

Reverse: Arms of Hungary top center; four-lined title inscription; bottom center, city arms of Munich; inscribed center left edge OP・ (opus); artist's monogram encircled, ligatured ƎЕ, center right edge.

Cf: Schulman.  1919.  La Guerre Européenne, Catalogue LXXV, p. 97: 896.

Cf: Frankenhuis, M.  1919(?).  Catalogue of Medals - Medalets and Plaques Relative to the World War 1914 - 1919, p. 124: 968.

Cf:  Huszár, Lajos, and Béla Procopius. 1932. Medaillen- und Plakettenkunst in Ungarn, p. 200: 1935.

Cf: Klose, Dietrich O. A.  2016.  Europas Verderben 1914 1918: Deutsche und österreichische Medaillen auf den Ersten Weltkrieg, p. 311: 24.20.

Although born and raised in Hungary, Elisabeth von Esseö lived and worked primarily in Munich.
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Karl May / German Oak
« Last post by Rabenauge on January 12, 2020, 03:50:04 AM »

Karl May.  1918. 

1914 —— 1918 .  Single-sided cast bronze, verdigris patina, 87 mm, 110.22 g.  Fast gussfrisch (near as-cast), small patina flaw on shield, scattered minor patina flaking.  Rare.

Sword and shield hanging centrally on trunk of stylized mighty oak, branches and roots covering almost entire field; title inscription year-date to left and right of trunk, respectively; artist's monogram, enclosed linked KM, at left under 1914.

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 (2012), p. 6.

Likely designed immediately after cessation of hostilities, implements of battle proudly displayed, despite defeat, on the enduring German Oak.
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Erzsébet von Esseö 1883-1954 / PAX VOBISCUM
« Last post by Rabenauge on January 11, 2020, 04:32:51 PM »

Esseö, Elisabeth (Erzsébet) von.  1921. 

PAX・VOBISCVM・A・D・1921 (Peace be with you - AD 1921).  Cast bronze, verdigris patina, 73.3 mm, 91 g.  Fast grußfrish (near as-cast).  Very rare.

Obverse: From a radiating rupture, subterranean serpent rears head and neck, curving to right and flicking forked tongue; title legend upper edge; along the lower edge, letters E -U- R - O - P - A spaced between fissure cracks; artist's monogram, encircled ligatured ƎE at center, below snake's neck. 

Reverse: Death as togate skeleton stands against wall of urban street corner, strumming mandolin, his iconic scythe resting next to him, while in adjacent street phalanx of troops armed with spears and cannon resists the attack of an unarmed mob; artist's monogram right center edge.

Cf:  Huszár, Lajos, and Béla Procopius. 1932. Medaillen- und Plakettenkunst in Ungarn, p. 201: 1944.

The year date alone without month and/or day makes uncertain any specific incident that inspired this medal, but in 1921 there were riots in Munich (where the artist worked) and Vienna, as well as civil strife in other European cities.
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Erzsébet von Esseö 1883-1954 / In memoriam last king and queen of Bavaria
« Last post by Rabenauge on January 10, 2020, 08:01:13 AM »

Esseö, Elisabeth (Erzsébet) von.  1921.

LVDOVICVS∙III∙REX∙BAVARIAE∙ET∙REGINA∙MARIA∙TERESIA (Ludwig III King of Bavaria and Queen Maria Theresa).  Cast bronze, medium brown patina, 91.6 mm, 169.93 g.  Vorzüglich (extremely fine).  Rare.

Obverse: Side-by-side crowned busts of King and Queen in coronation robes to left; title legend encircling edge; artist's monogram encircled, ligatured ƎE at right, behind King. 

Reverse: Two armorial royal Bavarian lions on ground-line, right and left, supporting archaic funerary tripod, from bowl of which issue flame and smoke; legend IN ∙ MEMORIAM ∙ 5 ∙ NOV ∙ 1921 encircling edge above blank exergue; artist's monogram, encircled, ligatured ƎE left of center between legs of tripod.

Cf:  Huszár, Lajos, and Béla Procopius. 1932. Medaillen- und Plakettenkunst in Ungarn, p. 201: 1951.

Date on reverse is that of the ceremony marking the interment of the remains of the last King and Queen of Bavaria in the royal crypt of the Frauenkirche in Munich.  Ludwig III (1845 - 1921; reigned 1913 - 1918) and Maria Teresa, Duchess of Austria-Este (1849 - 1919) died in exile following the loss of their thrones in the Bavarian revolution of November 1918.
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Hans Schwegerle / Soldiers' center fund 1918
« Last post by Rabenauge on January 10, 2020, 07:50:21 AM »

Hans Schwegerle.  1918. 

IM — SOL- / DATEN / HEIM (in the soldiers' recreation center) (obv.);  FVER DIE/ ・SOLDATENHEIM- / SPENDE / 19 — 18 (in the soldiers' recreation center) (rev.).  Cast bronze, light-brown patina, 58.32 mm, 69.53 g.  Cast model.  Gussfrisch (as-cast), perfect condition.

Obverse: Soldier, full length, in Feldmütze, uniform, and boots, right foot on step, head lowered to his left, plays guitar; three-line title inscription as indicated on either side of figure; artist's signature H Schwegerle on step beneath soldier's right foot. 

Reverse: Four-line title inscription; handwritten in (barely legible) script below text Modell (indicates this example was a casting model as guide for production and finishing of further examples).

Cf: Hasselmann, Wolfgang.  2000. Hans Schwegerle - Medaillen und Plaketten, p. 176: 159.

Cf: Klose, Dietrich O. A.  2016.  Europas Verderben 1914 1918: Deutsche und österreichische Medaillen auf den Ersten Weltkrieg, p 310, 24.17 (example in iron).


This example from the estate of H. Schwegerle, then passing to  the collection of Wolfgang Hasselmann, author of the monograph cited above.  As a casting model, it is slightly larger than production casts (57.5 mm). 

38 examples produced in bronze, 12 in iron, 2 in silver, as one of a series of medals to be given for donations to the Bayerischer Landesausschuß für Soldatenheime München (Bavarian National Board for Soldiers' Recreation Centers, Munich)  (Hasselmann, p. 176 - 178).
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Erzsébet von Esseö 1883-1954 / Count Dohna-Schlodien
« Last post by Rabenauge on January 09, 2020, 03:19:43 AM »

Erzsébet (Elisabeth) von Esseö.  1916. 

∙KOM∙S∙M∙S∙MOEWE∙GRAF∙DOHNA∙SCHLODIEN∙ (Count Nikolaus zu Dohna-Schlodien, Commander of His Majesty's Ship Moewe [Gull]).  Cast iron, blackened, 83 mm, 146.6 g.  Vorzüglich (extremely fine).  Rare.

Obverse: Three-quarter profile portrait in uniform cap to right, title legend upper edge; artist's monogram, encircled ligatured ƎE lower right. 

Reverse: Eyed and winged ship on waves to left, smoke trailing to right, flag flying to left (!); two six-pointed stars in sky; artist's monogram lower left; legend ∙ANNO∙D∙MCMXVI∙ (AD 1916) lower edge.

Cf: Schulman.  1919.  La Guerre Européenne, Catalogue LXXV, p. 97: 890, pl. XX (bronze example).

Cf: Huszár, Lajos, and Béla Procopius. 1932. Medaillen- und Plakettenkunst in Ungarn, p. 200: 1930 (examples in iron and Kriegsmetall).



Second example: Cast bronze, 86 mm, 207.3 g; vorzüglich (extra-fine).  Rare.

Obverse: similar to example above, but portrait more in direct profile to right; artist's monogram center left. 

Reverse: as above.

Of these two examples, the bronze is the finer cast, exhibiting much greater detail.  Aside from size, there are also subtle differences in obverse images: iron example has portrait turned slightly more to left (compare, for example, position of subject's ear in relation to back of head); artist's monogram appears below chin of iron portrait, but behind head on bronze.

Count Dohna-Schlodien was the commander of the very successful commerce raider Moeve and is commemorated on a number of German First World War medals.
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