102355 | GERMANY & the ENTENTE. Pact of Malice cast bronze Medal.
102355 | GERMANY & the ENTENTE. Pact of Malice cast bronze Medal. Dated 1915. "Der Bund der Tücke"—on Germany's fight against the "union of deceit" (82mm, 141.16 g, 12h). By K. Goetz in München.
DER BVND DER TVECKE (the bond of malice), winged fantastic beast standing right, with numerous allegorical, elongated, serpentine/hydra-like heads: cock (for France), lion (for Belgium and England), bear (for Russia), Snake (for Serbia), and dragon (for Japan); below, figure, nude but for Bersagliere hat, seated with back to viewer, suckling from the beast's teats (an allegory for Italy, as Romulus/Remus suckling the she wolf); MCMXV below // Facing bust of God, holding scythe and resting hand upon and globe; flames of Hell below; across central field in three lines, SCHLAGT IHN TOT! / DAS WELTGERIGHT / FRAGT EVCH NACH DEN / GRVENDEN NICHT! ("Strike him dead! Doomsday asks you not on what grounds" –Heinrich von Kleist). Edge: A few light marks, otherwise plain.
Kienast 160; Klose 8.8; Art of Devastation –; Choice Mint State. Dark brown surfaces, with some hints of rub and lighter colors upon the higher points. Compare to a similar piece, graded NGC MS-65 Brown, that realized a total of $1,920 in Heritage auction 61296, lot 22069.
Similar to many of Goetz's World War I-era medals, this particular piece—issued in a much larger format than is generally encountered—portrays Germany against seemingly the rest of the world. Here, Goetz sees Germany's then-enemies as this fantastic beast amalgamated from the various allegories associated with them. Meanwhile, on the reverse, the stark aspect of the war, and seemingly the divine right for the Germans, is displayed by the representation of God, holding a scythe and the globe—an indication of His power to smite the enemy and His terrestrial rule. The quote from Heinrich von Kleist merely reinforces that aspect that much more, in the sentiment to "...strike him dead! Doomsday asks you not on what grounds." A haunting and extremely powerful work from the ever-ambitious Goetz.
Upload: 1 September 2023.
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