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100874 | GERMANY. Anhalt-Harzgerode. Prince Wilhelm silver Medal.

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    100874 | GERMANY. Anhalt-Harzgerode. Prince Wilhelm silver Medal. Issued 1985 by Preussag AG. Commemorating the princely visit to the Elisabeth Albertine silver mine (62mm, 70.69 g, 12h). After the 1694 original by S. Grillet.


    GVLIELMVS D G PRINC ANHALT D SAET W C A D B ET S, armored and draped bust right / SUB PRÆSIDIO ALTISSIMI NIL TIMENDVM, subterranean mining scene, with central shaft and ladder; miners at work in mines to left and right; prince and his retinue observing the operations. Edge: "PREUSSAG" repeated numerous times.


    Cf. Mann 843 (for prototype); cf. Müseler 1.3/2 (same). Choice Gem Mint State. Exceedingly prooflike surfaces, with an attractive peripheral cobalt tone and slightly matte reverse nature. One of the rare restrikes of famous mining-related medals issued by Preussag AG—originally formed as a Prussian mining company in 1923. Compare to another Preussag restrike—a 1990 issue copying a 1690 silver medal from Freiberg—in Höhn 81 (23 October 2014), lot 2784, which realized a hammer of €620.


    During the 1970's and into the very early 1990's, the firm Preussag AG commissioned the restriking of various historical medals from the region, many of which featured mining scenes from the 17th and 18th centuries. Though exact mintages haven't been discovered by this cataloger, nearly all of the issues appear to be rather rare. Additionally, they offer a chance to acquire pieces that, in terms of the originals, do not appear for sale very often, and, when they do, are not in the greatest states of preservation.


    The principality's Elisabeth Albertine mine is the focus of the original medal here, as it was visited by Wilhelm in 1694. On the reverse, the medalist was able to render a great amount of detail, showing workers ascending and descending the mine, working in its various shafts, and even the prince, along with his entourage, receiving a royal tour. Mines like this greatly added to the wealth of the Holy Roman Empire's fiefdoms, and were always something to celebrate and revere.


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