100984 | AUSTRIA. Hernals. Alsegg. Silvered Bronze Prize Medal.
100984 | AUSTRIA. Hernals. Alsegg. Silvered Bronze Prize Medal. Struck circa 1930. For Meritorious Performance Presented by the Canary Breeders' Association in Hernals (46mm, 35.34 g, 12h). By J. Christlbauer in Vienna.
ERSTER HERNALSER KANARIENZÜCHTER VEREIN / • ALSEGG •, winged nymph seated left upon tree, playing flute; three canaries seated on the branches facing her / FÜR VERDIENSTVOLLE / LEISTUNG in three lines within wreath. Edge: Plain.
Mint State. Deep gray toning, with some lighter highlights on the devices.
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.