101169 | AUSTRIA. "Dear Augustin" uniface bronze Plaque.
101169 | AUSTRIA. "Dear Augustin" uniface bronze Plaque. Issued circa 1910–1920. Folk tales series (50x72mm, 109.66 g). By K. Perl in Wien (Vienna).
Augustin advancing left, playing bagpipes; in exergue, "Der lustige Augustin" in calligraphic script. Edge: Plain.
Gem Mint State. Deep olive-bronze surfaces, with some mottled discoloration on the reverse.
Based upon the popular Viennese folk song, "O du lieber Augustin" ("Oh, you dear Augustin"), this plaque features Augustin, a beloved bagpiper who performed for citizens in the various inns of the city. During the plague of 1679, he—in a drunken stupor—fell fast asleep in the gutter. Gravediggers who were patrolling the streets for dead bodies assumed him to be among those infected and tossed him, along with his bagpipes, in with the rest of the corpses outside of the city wall. After sobering up, he began to play his bagpipes, wanting to die as he had lived. Hearing his melodies, however, the townsfolk realized that he, in fact, was still alive, and rescued him. Surprised that he remained uninfected despite his exposure to the ravaged corpses, he stood as a symbol of hope during a rather bleak time.