Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
1
Oskar Thiede / A free, new Austria
« Last post by Rabenauge on February 04, 2020, 04:31:52 PM »

Oskar Thiede.  (1918?).  EIN FREIES  ——  NEUES REICH (a free new realm).  Single-sided cast iron, blackened, 71.2 mm, 126.06 g.  Vorzüglich (extremely fine).  Rare.

On a ground line in front of flaming ruins, slender, naked man, en face, legs apart, both hands swinging immense flag displaying heraldic arms of Austrian provinces; title legend center left, center right, separated by flag; artist's signature O・THIEDE in exergue; raised rim.

Cf: Die Medaille der Ostmark.  1938.  Wiener Bund für Medaillenkunst, p. 40, no. 62; pl. 70.  Listed as premium (bonus) medal of the Medaillenvereinigung der Genossenschaft der bildenden Künstler, Wien (Medal Consortium of the Co-operative of Visual Artists, Vienna).

Commemorates the establishment of a republic in Austria (the mostly German-speaking provinces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) following the military collapse and breakup of the Empire in October 1918.  The newly-established state initially sought union with Germany, but this intention was denied by the Allied Powers, and the Treaties of St Germain and Versailles (1919) expressly forbade such a union.  Following this failure, the name of the country was changed to the Republik Österreich.  Presumably this medal celebrates the hoped-for Deutsch-Österreichische Republik rather than the separate state enforced by the peace treaties.
2
Georg Leschnitzer / Medical Officer Dr Schlacht
« Last post by Rabenauge on January 24, 2020, 03:41:27 AM »

Georg(?) Leschnitzer.  1917. 

STABSARZT DR. SCHLACHT, CHEF DES GROSS BERLINER VERWUNDETEN TRANSPORTWESENS (Medical Officer Dr. Schlacht, Head of the Greater Berlin Transport System for the Wounded).  Cast iron, blackened, 100.0 mm, 367.05 g.  Vorzüglich - gussfrisch (extremely fine - as-cast).  Scarce.

Obverse: Profile portrait bust to left in military collar, close-cropped hair, small up-turned mustache, Schmisse (fraternity dueling-scars) left cheek; title legend around edge from lower left. 

Reverse: On ground line, two medical orderlies transport wounded man on legged, semi-reclining stretcher from left to right; upper center legend KRIEGSJAHRE (war years); inscribed year dates 1914  -  1917 in exergue under ground-line; pearled border.

Other than a listing from Leipziger Münzhandlung Heidrun Höhn,  Auktion 73, 12 January 2011, lot 489, I have to date (Jan 2020) found no other published record for this medal.  Neither have I seen any other medal made by Leschnitzer (presumably the Berlin sculptor Georg Leschnitzer) nor found any further information about Dr Schlacht.  Any additional information would be welcome.
3
Erzsébet von Esseö 1883-1954 / Ruhr 1923
« Last post by Rabenauge on January 24, 2020, 03:36:40 AM »

Elisabeth (Erzsébet) von Esseö (Esső).  1923. 

R U H R —— 1 9 2 3.  Cast bronze, dark brown patina, 70.6 mm, 73,87 g.  Vorzüglich (extra-fine).  Very rare.

Obverse:  On substrate of skulls, an en face French-African colonial soldier, naked except for an Adrian helmet and a short leaf-skirt, holds two naked bodies, woman at left, man at right, by the scruffs of neck; horizon line across center field; title legend upper edge; artist's monogram  encircled ƎE at lower right; gradually rising rim. 

Reverse: Over idealized industrial Ruhr landscape of towering chimneys and (phallic?) silos, the large-scale radiant head of the Reichsadler to left; artist's monogram  encircled ƎE at center right; gradually rising rim.

Cf: Huszár, Lajos, and Béla Procopius. 1932. Medaillen- und Plakettenkunst in Ungarn, p.  202: 1956.  Mis-titled as "RUHR - 1924" (i.e. with incorrect year date).

This medal expresses popular outrage at the brutal French occupation of the Ruhr Valley (1923 - 1925) following Germany's inability to meet its war-reparations payments.  French troops in both this action and the earlier occupation of the Rhineland (1919 - 1923) involved some African colonial troops.  Germans considered the employment of these "racially inferior" soldiers a deliberate humiliation, and the press sensationalized incidence of crime, sexual and otherwise, as shaming, especially to German women.  Esseö's medal Die schwarze Schmach (black outrage) memorializes the Rhineland Occupation, for which the present medal is a fitting companion.
4
Erzsébet von Esseö 1883-1954 / Black Shame
« Last post by Rabenauge on January 24, 2020, 03:32:57 AM »

Esseö, Elisabeth (Erzsébet) von.  1923. 

DIE ・ SCHWARZE ・ SCHMACH ・ 1919 -- 1923 ・ (Black Humiliation 1919 - 1923).  Cast bronze, chocolate-brown patina, 73 mm, 101.85 g.  Gußfrisch (as cast).  Very rare.

Obverse: Full face of African man, eyes half-lidded, lips slightly open, materializing from surface field; below visage two spermatozoa swim up diverging left and right; title legend encircling edge; dates lower center edge. 

Reverse: Female figure turned slightly to right, clad only in diaphanous palla draped over head, left hand raised to brow; at her feet, left and right, tangles of serpents; artist's monogram encircled, ligatured ƎE in exergue.

Cf  Huszár, Lajos, and Béla Procopius. 1932. Medaillen- und Plakettenkunst in Ungarn, p. 201: 1952.

This medal refers to the French occupation of the Rhineland (1919 - 1923), in part by African colonial troops.  Germans considered garrison of these "racially inferior" soldiers a deliberate humiliation, and the press sensationalized and exaggerated incidence of crime, sexual and otherwise, as shaming, especially to German women.  Children born of liaisons, consensual or not, between French-African men and German women were referred to as die Rheinlandbastarden (Rhineland bastards), and many were later sterilized under the Nazi regime.
5
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.
6
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 medallion.  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.
7
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.
8
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 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.
9
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.
10
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.
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10