100411 | GERMANY & AUSTRIA-HUNGARY. Cast iron Medal.

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    100411 | GERMANY & AUSTRIA-HUNGARY. Cast iron Medal. Issued 1915. The German and Austro-Hungarian Alliance (55mm, 53.98 g, 12h). By A. Gaul.

     

    1914–1915 / DEUTSCHLAND / UND OESTERREICH UNGARN, two eagle heads (representing the Austro-Hungarian Empire) facing right above single eagle head (representing the German Empire) facing left / Two nude soldiers, back-to-back, each raising sword over head; in three lines in exergue, ZUSAMMEN HALTET / EUREN WERT UND EUCH / IST NIEMAND GLEICH (together hold each other dear, and no one will be your equal," –from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe). Edge: Plain, though some filing marks [as made].

     

    The Art of Devastation, pp. 96-8, fig. 27; Kluge & Weisser A36. As Issued, deep gray-brown surfaces.

     

    This medal starkly presents the animal imagery of the World War I powers, with the single eagle signifying Germany, and the double eagle signifying Austria-Hungary. Contemporary artists also ascribed the cockerel or rooster to France, the bear to Russia, and the sea lion to England–a lighthearted amalgamation of England's longstanding lion imagery with that of her dominion of the seas.

     

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