101074 | UNITED STATES & GERMANY. Thomas Nast Prize cast bronze award Medal.

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    101074  |  UNITED STATES & GERMANY. Thomas Nast Prize cast bronze award Medal. Issued 1978 for the promotion of German-American relations in the field of media cartoons/caricatures (86mm, 275.46 g, 12h). By O. Kallenbach.

     

    Stylized bust facing slightly left; LANDAV / PFALZ / 1840 – NEW / YORK / 1902 across field; signature below / FREIHEIT IST NICHT ANARCHIE on banner, donkey and elephant confronting one another; in two lines in exergue, LIBERTY IS NOT / ANARCHY. Edge: Plain.

     

    Essentially as cast. Deep brown surfaces, with some lighter highlights in relief. An incredibly rare and interesting medal for the "father of the American cartoon."

     

    Born in 1840 in Landau (then part of the Kingdom of Bavaria), Thomas Nast came to America at the age of 10 as his father was at odds with the Bavarian government. Though not excelling at school, he displayed a great aptitude for drawing, eventually becoming a staff illustrator at Harper's Weekly in the middle of the Civil War in 1862. For the next two-plus decades, he was the preeminent political cartoonist in the nation, shaping more than one presidential campaign with his witty and pointed drawings. The elephant representing the Republican party was a creation of Nast and, though he did not similarly create the donkey associated with the Democratic Party, his use of the pair made the latter commonplace. Other creations include Santa Claus—whose depiction in North America emanates entirely from Nast—and the Tammany Hall tiger, a symbol of Boss Tweed's political machine. On the 75th anniversary of Nast's death in 1977, a prize was created to be awarded periodically to German or American cartoonists, with the winners receiving a prize of €1,300, a trip to Landau, and one of these very rare prize medals.

     

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