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91
Benno Elkan / Ludwig Frank
« Last post by Rabenauge on December 27, 2019, 08:10:32 AM »

Benno Elkan  1914 (1915 - see below)

DR・LVDWIG  FRANK・.  Cast iron, blackened, subtle greenish-yellow patina, 96.78 mm, 354.47 g.  Fast gussfrisch (near as-cast).  Rare, especially in iron.

Obverse: High relief profile portrait head and neck to right; title legend lower edge; artist's initials BE lower left immediately behind subject's neck; raised rim. 

Reverse: Naked youth, head thrown back, bent right arm raised, left arm extended backward, advances to left along ground-line towards conflagration; three line inscription STIRB / UND / WERDE! (die and become [reborn]) center right; two-line date inscription 3・9 / 1914 (3 Sept 1914) lower right; artist's signature BENNO / ELKAN in exergue under ground-line; raised rim.

Cf: Frankenhuis, M.  (1919?).  Catalogue of Medals - Medalets and Plaques Relative to the World War 1914 - 1919, p. 70: 511 (medallist misidentified as BENNO FIKA - from a small format example where name is partly lost in striking - see attached photo).

Cf: Menzel-Severing, H.  1980.  Der Bildhauer Benno Elkan, Dortmund, p. 213: Wk-Nr. 215; illus. 145 (97 mm cast bronze, 34 mm struck silver examples).

Cf: Salaschek, S.  1980.  Katalog der Medaillen und Plaketten des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts im französischen und deutschen Sprachraum in der Hamburger Kunsthalle, I (text): p. 127: no. 522; II (Studien und Tafeln): pl. 35 (bronze).

Cf: Steguweit, W.  1998.  Das Münzkabinett und die Förderung der Medaillenkunst: Künstlerbriefe 1914-1918 Medaillenedition (Das Kabinett 5), pp. 15 - 16: illus. 8 (bronze).

Cf: Kluge, B., and B. Weisser.  2014.  Gold gab ich für Eisen, p. 107 (same example as in Steguweit - cast bronze).

Cf: Weisser, B.  2017.  "Medallic Art in Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the First World War" in Phagan, P., and P. van Alfen, The Art of Devastation: Medals and Posters of the Great War, pp. 123, 125 (fig. 53) (same example as in Steguweit).



Second example: Design as above, struck bronze, natural patina, 34.50 mm, 14.55 g.


Although this medal bears the date 3.9.1914 and is sometimes described as made that year, Steguweit (p. 39) excerpts a letter dated 2 March 1915 from Elkan to Julius Menadier, Director of the Royal Coin Cabinet, Berlin (who had encouraged Elkan to design a medal honoring Frank), reporting that "The medal of Frank nearly finished.  Its reverse depicts a youth throwing himself into flames; in addition Goethe's words: 'Die and become'".  It then goes on to explain that the medal will be cast in a diameter of 9 cm and struck in a 3 cm issue.  Thus this medal was produced no earlier than spring 1915.
 
Ludwig Frank (1874 - 1914) was a Jewish German doctor of jurisprudence and a Social Democratic delegate of the Reichtag, who had taken part in peace demonstrations of the Social Democratic Workers' Movement in response to the threat of war.  When war was declared, he nevertheless volunteered for active duty - despite his age (40) - to show his loyalty in time of national emergency.  His death at the front was reported on 3 September 1914.  The medal is an important piece of propaganda art intended as an incentive to patriotic unity of all Germans, regardless of religion or ancestry, in the national war effort.

The inscription on the reverse, "Stirb und Werde!" is taken from Goethe's "Selige Sehnsucht," part of his great poem cycle West-Östlicher Divan (West-Eastern Divan, 1819): "Of the living I shall praise / that which longs for death in flames. . . . And until you have possessed / dying and rebirth, / you are but a sullen guest / on the gloomy earth." -- trans. Walter Kaufmann, Twenty German Poets, 1962).
92
Jan Wysocki / Death as Charioteer 1919
« Last post by Rabenauge on December 25, 2019, 09:55:09 AM »

Jan Wysocki  1919

1914 - 1919  ("Death quadriga with dragon").  Single-sided cast bronze, medium-brown patina, 63.25 mm, 50.1 g.  Gussfrisch (as cast).  Very rare. 

Death, holding scythe, drives four-horse chariot (quadriga) from left to right over calotte of the earth; bat-winged, barb-tailed dragon flies above; title year-dates in exergue formed by calotte; artist's monogram encircled intertwined IW lower left behind chariot; raised rim.

Cf: Bernhart, Max.  1915.  Kriegsmedaillen bayerischer Künstler, pl. XX: no. 102 (early variant, with flying eagle and without date).

Cf: Schulman.  1919. La Guerre Européenne, Catalogue LXXV, p. 29: no. 251 (late variant, with dragon and date).

Cf: Frankenhuis, M.  1919(?).  Catalogue of Medals - Medalets and Plaques Relative to the World War 1914 - 1919, p. 142: 1143 (early variant, without date).

Cf: Klose, Dietrich O. A.  2016.  Europas Verderben 1914 1918: Deutsche und österreichische Medaillen auf den Ersten Weltkrieg, p. 270: 22.12 (late variant with dragon and date; inaccurate diameter measurement: 53 mm).


Bernhart (1915) illustrates first variant of this medal, produced 1914/1915, with the German eagle instead of a dragon flying above chariot and without year-date.  Klose (p. 269) also illustrates a related medal with Death sitting astride one of five horses riding down cowering humans, all beneath flying dragon .
93
Karl May / Sturm
« Last post by Rabenauge on December 24, 2019, 09:16:34 AM »

Karl May.  Undated (1915). 

STURM (Attack).  Single-sided cast bronze, blackened, vertical oval; 61.4 x 126.6 mm, 124.04 g.  Fast gußfrich (near as cast), slight flaking of patina.  Very rare.

Personification of Death as animated, naked cadaver, skeletonized face, ribs, hands and feet, crowned with laurel wreath, running to left, carrying large, billowing flag while looking backward and beckoning followers forward.  In background mass of German infantry advancing to left; title inscription in exergue; artist's monogram linked KM in cartouche upper right edge.

Cf: Bernhart, Max.  1915.  Kriegsmedaillen bayerischer Künstler, pl. XV: 81.

Cf: Bernhart, Max.  1917.  Die Münchener Medaillenkunst der Gegenwart, pl. 37, no. 263.

Cf: Frankenhuis, M.  1919(?).  Catalogue of Medals - Medalets and Plaques relative to the World War 1914 - 1919, p. 137, 1090.

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.
 
Cf: Klose, Dietrich O. A. Europas Verderben 1914 1918: Deutsche und österreichische Medaillen auf den Ersten Weltkrieg.  2016. p 279, 22.29.

One of the series of seven "Totentanz" medals by Karl May.  See previous post.
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New Member Welcome and Check In / Re: A Jutland/Skagerrak medal enthusiast/researcher
« Last post by Rabenauge on December 23, 2019, 04:49:01 PM »
Hi John.  Not sure if you're a collector of British Skagerrak (Jutland) medals, but thought I'd pass along this link to a huge and handsome piece available in Germany: https://www.ma-shops.com/hossfeld/item.php?id=190510012.  Perhaps you've already seen it or have an example.  If you don't read German and need translation assistance, please let me know.  All the Best!
95
Josef Gangl / Ritter von Epp
« Last post by Rabenauge on December 23, 2019, 04:19:54 PM »

Josef Gangl.  1919. 

EPP.  Cast bronze, dark brown patina, 80.5 mm, 239 g.  Vorzüglich (extremely fine).

Obverse: Profile portrait head-and-shoulders bust to right, in helmet, with collar and cross of the Order Pour le Mérite; title inscription lower left behind portrait; artist's initial G center lower edge; gradually rising rim. 

Reverse: Bavarian Lion sitting vertically upright center; year date 19 —— 19 center left, right, respectively, divided by image; slightly raised rim.

Cf: Steguweit, Wolfgang.  2000.  Die Medaille und Gedenkmünze des 20. Jahrhunderts in Deutschland, p. 100: 148; plate 52 (attributed to Josef Gangl?).

For an example in the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Münzkabinett; also see Münzkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Objekt-Nr: 18242623: https://ikmk.smb.museum/object?id=18242623; also illustrated in: Weisser, B., "Medailleure in Deutschland während des Ersten Weltkriegs," Teil 6: Josef Gangl und August Gaul, MünzenRevue Heft 2, 2015, pp. 39 - 40 (Illustration, p.40).
 
Because the medal is marked only with the letter G, there has previously been uncertainty about the artist's identity.  Auction houses recently listing examples have attributed them to August Gaul, but without documentation or reference.  This attribution is unconvincing.   August Gaul's medals from the First World War are signed GAUL; I have seen none of his designs marked with only a single "G."  Gaul was also renowned as an animalier, but the lion on the reverse is stylized in the posture of a house cat and quite unlike his realistically depicted wild animals.  Gaul was a Berliner and less likely to have designed a medal honoring a Bavarian military leader (see below).

The Steguweit and Weisser citations above are the only published references outside of auction catalogs that I have found.  Steguweit tentatively attributes the medal to Josef Gangl, and Weisser states it certainly.  Although Gangl usually signed his First World War medals with his last name in full: GANGL, he did occasionally use a single G.  Gangl worked in Munich where Epp was widely regarded the savior of Bavaria for his Freikorps intervention against "Bolshevist" revolutionaries (see below).  Of the two suggested medallists, he is the more likely designer of this piece.

The helmet worn by the subject on this medal is different from the actual war model in which Epp was sometimes photographed.  It harks back, rather, to the design of a 15th Century Salade or sallet (claimed to be influential to the design of the M1916 Stahlhelm), and is likely intended to portray Epp as a knight (Ritter), a modern-day representative of both chivalric virtue and the 16th - 17th Century freebooters' bravado extolled in German folklore and literature, and thus emulated by Freikorps units (see below).

Franz Xaver Epp (1868 - 1947) served in the Royal Bavarian Army during the Boxer Rebellion, in German Southwest Africa during the Herero genocide, and as commander of the Royal Bavarian Infantry Lifeguard Regiment (Königlich Bayerisches Infanterie-Leib-Regiment) during the First World War, during which he was knighted (1916: Ritter von Epp) and awarded numerous decorations, notably the Pour le Mérite.  Following the German defeat, he formed Freikorps Epp, notoriously involved in suppression of the Bayerische Räterepublik (Bavarian Soviet Republic) in Munich, 1919.
96
Karl May / After the Battle
« Last post by Rabenauge on December 23, 2019, 03:50:44 AM »

Karl May.  (1915). 

NACH DER —— SCHLACHT (after the battle).  Single-sided cast bronze, brown patina, 68 mm, 76.8 g.  Fast gussfrisch (near as-cast), some slight flaking of patina.  Rare.

Death, personified as a skeleton, sits contemplatively atop stylized cannon to right, left leg stretched along gun barrel,  head resting in right hand; legend upper edge, saparated by image; artist's initials KM in cartouche lower left.

Cf: Bernhart, Max.  1915.  Kriegsmedaillen bayerischer Künstler, pl. XVIII: 91.

Cf: Bernhart, Max.  1917.  Die Münchener Medaillenkunst der Gegenwart, pl. 36, no. 258.

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. 9.
 
Cf: Klose, Dietrich O. A.  2016.  Europas Verderben 1914 1918: Deutsche und österreichische Medaillen auf den Ersten Weltkrieg, p 278: 22.27.


One of the series of seven "Totentanz" medals by Karl May.  The "Totentanz" genre, as is well known, originated in Medieval and Early Modern art of Central Europe - notably with the woodcuts of Hans Holbein - and versions thereafter have continued to be developed, particularly in the German-speaking lands, into modern times.  A number of First World War German medallists produced individual designs of Death represented as a skeleton or an animated corpse, and a few produced series, among them Walther Eberbach, Arnold Zadikow, and Karl May.  For a general overview of examples, see the above-referenced work by Dietrich Klose, 2016.
97
Erzsébet von Esseö 1883-1954 / Horthy - Battle Cruiser Novara
« Last post by Rabenauge on December 22, 2019, 08:48:41 AM »

Esseö, Elisabeth (Erzsébet) von.  1916.

・M・VON・HORTHY・KOM・S・M・S・NOVARA・ (Miklós von Horthy, commander of SMS Novara).  Cast yellow bronze, 38.0 mm; 19.4 g; vorzüglich (extra-fine), slightly worn surface.  Scarce.

Obverse: head-and-neck profile portrait to left, dolphin below; artist's monogram, encircled, ligatured ƎE to right; title legend around rim; pearled border. 

Reverse: battle cruiser, full front, firing to left, above waves, legend ・ANO・D・ - MCMXVI・ (anno domini - 1916) top edge; pearled border.

Cf: Schulman.  1918.  La Guerre Européenne, Catalogue LXX, p. 125: 1416 (medallist not credited).

Cf: Frankenhuis, M.  1919(?).  Catalogue of Medals - Medalets and Plaques Relative to the World War 1914 - 1919, p. 54: 389 (medallist not credited).

Cf:  Huszár, Lajos, and Béla Procopius. 1932. Medaillen- und Plakettenkunst in Ungarn, p. 199: 1921; plate XXVIII.

Cf: Kluge, B., and B. Weisser.  2014. Gold gab ich für Eisen, p. 109: A 25 (iron example).


Commemorates Horthy's command of the light cruiser SMS Novara in the Battle of the Strait of Otranto, the largest battle of the war in the Adriatic and a victory for the Austro-Hungarian naval forces.  Following the First World War, Horthy became regent of Hungary, serving until the German occupation of Hungary in 1944.
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Erzsébet von Esseö / PAX 1919
« Last post by Rabenauge on December 22, 2019, 07:32:03 AM »

Esseö, Elisabeth (Erzsébet) von.  1919. 

PAX  ——  1919 (Peace 1919).  Cast bronze, dark verdigris patina; 68 mm, 86.76 g; vorzüglich (extremely fine).  Very rare.

Obverse: Woman's head (but see Huszár/Procopius below), full face with frowning brows, downcast, near-closed eyes, downturned mouth, wearing sallet-style helmet; title inscription left and right, respectively, at eye level. 

Reverse: Three stylized, elongate heraldic shields of Germany, Hungary, and Austria; beneath shields OP・ (opus) followed by artist's monogram encircled, ligatured ƎE.

Cf: Schulman.  1919(?).   La Guerre Européenne, Catalogue LXXV, p. 98: 900.

Cf:  Huszár, Lajos, and Béla Procopius. 1932. Medaillen- und Plakettenkunst in Ungarn, p. 200: 1926 ("Marskopf" [head of Mars]).

Cf: Jones, M. 1979. The Dance of Death: Medallic Art of the First World War, p. 32: 54, and outside rear cover (in color).





British Museum Replica.  1979.  Struck bronze, bright verdigris patina, 64.6 mm (British Museum description gives 63 mm), 86.0 g.  Edge-punch BMPL (British Museum Publications Limited).  Despite smaller size, splotchy patina, and edge-punch, inexperienced collectors and dealers may be fooled when first encountering this piece.
99
Karl Ott / Ausmarsch 1914
« Last post by Rabenauge on December 21, 2019, 12:04:19 PM »

Karl Ott  1914 

AUSMARSCH / 1914 (march-out, departure).  Single-sided, cast iron, blackened, 85.35 mm, 100.10 g.  Vorzüglich (extremely fine).
 
From the three-windowed balcony of a peaked-roofed house, three women wave and strew flowers over eight ranks of soldiers marching on the street to left; two-line title inscription in exergue with stepped border left and right; artist's signature K・OTT along lower right edge.

Cf: Frankenhuis, M.  1919(?).  Catalogue of Medals - Medalets and Plaques relative to the World War 1914 - 1919, p. 83: 622.

Cf: Salaschek, Sunhild.  1980.  Katalog der Medaillen und Plaketten des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts im französischen und deutschen Sprachraum in der Hamburger Kunsthalle, I (text): p. 276: no. 1154; II (Studien und Tafeln): pl. 84 (iron example).

Cf: Klose, Dietrich O. A.  2016.  Europas Verderben 1914 1918: Deutsche und österreichische Medaillen auf den Ersten Weltkrieg, p. 38: 2.2 (bronze example).

Commemorates the departure of German armies toward Belgium and France, depicting a common scene in the heady first weeks of war enthusiasm.
100
Karl Ott / God is with us
« Last post by Rabenauge on December 21, 2019, 12:00:55 PM »

Karl Ott.  1914. 

GOTT ——  MIT UNS ● (God is with us).  Single-sided cast bronze, medium-brown patina, 75 mm, 65.51 g.  Edge-punch C.POELLATH   —   SCHROBENH..  Vorzüglich (extremely fine).

A lightly-armored knight on horseback, bare-headed, hands clasped in prayer, rides to left over a multi-headed, coiling hydra stretched beneath the horse's hooves; title legend upper edge; two-line inscription A・D / 1914 center left; artist's signature K・OTT in exergue; pearled edge, raised rim.

Cf: Bernhart, Max.  1915.  Kriegsmedaillen bayerischer Künstler, pl. XVII: 90.

Cf: Bernhart, Max.  1917.  Die Münchener Medaillenkunst der Gegenwart, pl. 37, no. 265.

Cf: Frankenhuis, M.  1919(?).  Catalogue of Medals - Medalets and Plaques Relative to the World War 1914 - 1919, p. 80: 601.

Cf: Klose, Dietrich O. A. 2016.  Europas Verderben 1914 1918: Deutsche und österreichische Medaillen auf den Ersten Weltkrieg, p. 118: 9.1.


A hydra representing Germany's and Austria-Hungary's multiple enemies facing a mythical or Medieval hero became a widespread trope of graphic and medallic art in 1914.  On examples such as this one, the individual hydra heads are characterized by caricatured representatives of the the Allied Powers, e.g. a bear for Russia, a rooster for France, a bulldog for Britain.
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