100929 | GERMANY. Aviculture silver Prize Medal.
100929 | GERMANY. Aviculture silver Prize Medal. Struck circa 1925. For Meritorious Achievements Presented by the United Canary Breeders' and Bird Protectors Association in Westfalen-Lippe (36mm, 16.59 g, 12h). By O. Oertel in Berlin.
FÜR VERDIENSTVOLLE LEISTUNGEN, canary standing right on branch / Wreath containing VEREINIGT / WESTF–LIPP / KANARIENZÜCHTER / UND / VOGELSCHUTZ– / VERBAND in six lines. Edge: SILBER 990.
Choice Mint State. Radiant and brilliant, with some russet toning around the central devices and some peripheral iridescence; a few stray marks are noted, as is a rim bump near 12h on the obverse.
The practice of breeding and keeping birds––known as aviculture––has been a long-standing hobby of bird enthusiasts, with the Avicultural Society of America being founded in 1927. In Europe, however, the organized practice dates back even further, with numerous local and regional clubs––especially in Germany––dedicated to the pursuit in the 19th century. Similar to kennel clubs, these groups would organize competitions in which a participant’s flock could be judged against their peers, with the top finishers receiving prize medals for their bird(s). These medals were sometimes struck in different metals in order to distinguish placement, while other times the ranking may be indicated in the text. To add a further degree of personalization, some were engraved in order to convey the specific chapter which hosted the competition and/or the recipient of the prize. These medals also presented their designer with an excellent chance to showcase their avian artistry, as few aspects of numismatics display birds as the prime subject and in such detail.
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