100570 | GERMANY & AUSTRIA-HUNGARY. Wilhelm II & Franz Joseph silver Medal.
100570 | GERMANY & AUSTRIA-HUNGARY. Wilhelm II & Franz Joseph silver Medal. Issued 1914. World War I series: The German and Austro-Hungarian Alliance (35mm, 17.66 g, 12h). By O. Oertel in Berlin.
KAISER FRANZ JOSEPH I • KAISER WILHELM II, uniformed busts facing one another; laurel and oak branches with crosses below / WELTKRIEG IM JAHRE 1914, garlanded oval shield surmounted by military implements and inscribed IN TREUE / VEREINT / SCHLAGEN / WIR DEN / FEIND in five lines. Edge: SILBER 990.
Zetzmann 3007. Gem Mint State. Brilliant surfaces, with charming high relief; incredible toning on the obverse, featuring a vibrant palette of colors. Compare to a recent example in Gorny & Mosch 262 (5 March 2019), lot 2286, which realized a hammer of €375 [plus buyer's fee]).
Following the formation of the German Empire in 1871, Otto von Bismarck sought to preserve peace and create a climate which would allow the fledging empire to grow, mostly worrying about rivals Russia to the east and France to the west. A deal was struck in 1879 with the Austro-Hungarian Empire in that they would support each other in the event that either were to be attacked by Russia. Further, if any other European power were to attack one, the other would practice a policy of benevolent neutrality, limiting the possible number of rivals and ideally serving as a deterrent for the belligerent European power in the first place. This alliance served as the basis for that which would become the Central Powers (later adding the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Bulgaria) during World War I.
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