100636 | GERMANY. Totentanz satirical cast iron Medal.

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    100636 | GERMANY. Satirical cast iron Medal. Issued 1916. Totentanz (Dance of Death) series: The youngest grenadier (69mm, 99.51 g, 12). By W. Eberbach.

     

    • DER • JÜNGSTE • GRENADIER •, Death, wearing Iron Cross on ribs, advancing left, hurling grenades in each hand; three more grenades tied around hip bones / • EISERNER • GRUSS • NACH • VIER • FRONTEN (iron greeting to the four fronts) / • ISWOLSKI • — • DELCASSE • — •• GREY •• — • SALANDRA •, grenade; all within serrated lozenge. Edge: Some light marks as cast, otherwise plain.

     

    The Art of Devastation –; Frankenhuis 1504. Choice Mint State. Attractive charcoal gray surfaces; a hint of light rub on the high points.

     

    Similar to the satirical medallic issues of Karl Goetz, Walther Eberbach was inspired by the events of World War I to create a series of rather morbid medals to propagandize the German war effort. The theme upon which he decided to focus was the Totentanz, or "Dance of Death." This series of issues, a divergence from the ephemeral topic of vanitas, portrayed Death as a skeleton, quite gleefully taking joy in the demise of his enemies—the allied powers—rather than a subtle reflection upon life and death. This frank morbidity is expressed by Eberbach himself in a letter to Julius Menadier, in which he writes "...I want whoever holds the pieces in their hands years later to be overcome by the shudder grimness." It's safe to say that, in this desire, Eberbach was astoundingly successful.

     

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