101379 | GERMANY. Hamburg. Satirical/Antisemitic silver Medal.

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    101379  |  GERMANY. Hamburg. Satirical silver Medal. Issued circa 1708. The supposed corruption of the imperial commission by the Jewish community (26mm, 7.20 g, 3h). By C. Wermuth.

     

    KÖMSTU MIR ALSO (you scratch my back...), hand extending fistful of coins / SO KOMME ICH DIR SO (...and I'll scratch yours), bust facing slightly right, with hand nearly covering face, though with eyes peering through. Edge: Plain.

     

    GPH 1220. Mint State details. Extremely lustrous and prooflike, with a subtle frosting to the devices; some scattered hairlines are noted, as well as numerous marks around the hand on the obverse.

     

    The city of Hamburg had a festering issue between its Senate and Citizens' Council in the late 17th century, with its local Jewish population a chief concern. Though a Sephardic Jewish population had much more long-standing roots in the city, the Ashkenazi population was, in contrast, much more recent and without actual legal status regarding its ability to reside there. The Citizens' Council—dominated by orthodox Protestants—along with the Lutheran clergy sought to block any concessions by the Senate to the Jewish populations, with the issue eventually escalating much higher within the hierarchy of the Holy Roman Empire. Emperor Joseph I appointed an imperial commission, led by Damian Hugo Philipp von Schönborn-Buchheim, to settle the dispute between the Senate and Citizens' Council in Hamburg. Ultimately, the commission redefined the legal relationships of the Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jewish populations in Hamburg, with the regulations becoming part of the new Hamburg constitution in 1712. It is quite likely that this satirical medal, along with the various others that share a common design and message, were meant to convey the idea that the Jewish citizenry had bribed the commission for recognition of their status, furthering an antisemitic viewpoint among the largely Protestant populace.

     

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