100378 | GERMANY. Hermann Freiherr Kövess von Kövessháza silver Medal.

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    100378 | GERMANY. Oberbefehlshaber Hermann Freiherr Kövess von Kövessháza silver Medal. Dated 1916. World War I series: The Defeat of Serbia and Montenegro (33mm, 18.41 g, 12h). By A. Hummel & L. C. Lauer in Nürnberg.

     

    GENERALOBERST v. KOEVESS, uniformed bust left / NIEDERWERFUNG SERBIENS u. MONTENEGROS, two-headed firebreathing dragon (representing Serbia and Montenegro) right, heads facing, being pierced by sword inscribed HABSBURG and bleeding from its wound; 1914–1916 in exergue. Edge: SILBER 990.

     

    Cf. Zetzmann 4143 (no SILBER on edge). Choice Mint State. An absolutely splendid piece, offering a lightly frosted nature to the devices and a mirrored finish to the fields; an enchanting rainbow tone is especially evident on the reverse. Highly transfixing and captivating. Very rare.

     

    Born in Timișoara in what is now Romania, Hermann Kövess von Kövessháza had a satisfactory career as an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army, and was close to retirement at the outset of World War. Tapped as a commander, he oversaw the successful Serbian campaign in which he captured Belgrade, followed by the Montenegrin campaign, subverting Montenegro. Toward the end of the war, Emperor Karl I, who had been serving as the Supreme Commander of the Austro-Hungarian forces, laid down his command in order not to surrender personally. In his stead, Hermann served as the final, ceremonial Oberbefehlshaber during the armistice and dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

     

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