100825 | GERMANY & GREAT BRITAIN. Satirical cast iron Medal.

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    100825 | GERMANY & GREAT BRITAIN. Satirical cast iron Medal. Issued 1916. Totentanz (Dance of Death) series: Strategic Bombing (69mm, 85.93 g, 12h). By W. Eberbach.

     

    • DER • BRITENSCHRECK • (Britain's terror), Death (as a skeleton) crouching right and with back facing, commanding the bombardment of industrialized England with zeppelins / AN • LORD CURZON / DEN / DEUTSCHEN– / HASSER / 1916 (to Lord Curzon, the German hater) in six lines; all within decorative border. Edge: A few marks as made; otherwise plain.

     

    The Art of Devastation, p. 268, 64; Frankenhuis 1500; Hans Kaiser 433. Choice Mint State. Pleasing charcoal gray surfaces, with lighter highlights; some scattered light marks.

     

    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.

     

    George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, served in the coalition government under Prime Minister Asquith, and was appointed President of the Air Board with the aim of lending confidence to the air services of the Royal Army and Navy. Nevertheless, Eberbach suggests that German forces would continue to exploit their superiority in the air through strategic bombing campaigns involving the use of the zeppelins.

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