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Excitment of War



SOLD  2013

Ludwig Gies, Cast Bronze uniface medal, 48.7mm, 34.40g., Ernsting WVZ 74, Frankenhuis 1354.

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 (Excitement of War). The artist’s initials, L G, are incised into the exergue. C.POELLATH SCHROBENHAUSEN is stamped into the edge at 6:00 o’clock.

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.

Grade: VZ

SOLD  2013

PRICE $575