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102532 | GERMANY, GREAT BRITAIN & UNITED STATES. RMS Lusitania iron Medal.

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    102532  |  GERMANY, GREAT BRITAIN & UNITED STATES. RMS Lusitania iron Medal. Dated 1915. The Sinking of the RMS Lusitania (56mm, 37.23 g, 12h). By K. Goetz in München.


    GESCHAFT UBER ALLES (business above all), skeleton (as Death) standing left within ticket booth marked CUNA[RD]/LINIE and CUNARD (the Cunard Line, owners of the ship) above and to right, and FAHRKARTEN/AUSGABE (ticket office) below; to left, queue of passengers, one of whom reads a newspaper with the headline U/BOO[T]/GEFAH[R] (U-Boat danger) // KEINE BANN WARE! (no contraband!), the Lusitania sinking in heavy seas; in five lines in exergue, DER GROSSDAMPFER / =LUSITANIA= / DURCH EIN DEUTSCHES / TAUCHBOOT VERSENKT / 7 MAI 1915 (the liner Lusitania sunk by a German submarine). Edge: Some filing marks as made.


    Burns 3b2; Kienast 156; Eimer 1941Ad; cf. Jones, Dance of Death, 28 (for the original with the erroneous date); The Art of Devastation, p. 254, 53 (for the original in bronze with the erroneous date). Choice Mint State. Light pewter gray surfaces, with some deeper toning in the recesses. A very rare original—as opposed to the numerous later copies of it—with the corrected date for the sinking. A similar corrected date version in bronze realized $1,920 in a recent Heritage sale (auction 61319, lot 23216), with its new owner currently accepting no less than $2,880 for it).


    Not long after the German warning against sea travel into her 'war zone' declared upon Great Britain, a popular liner—the RMS Lusitania—was torpedoed 11 miles off the coast of Ireland, where over 60% of her passengers, some of whom were Americans, were killed. Serving as a rallying cry against the German Empire, this action solidified American involvement in World War I.


    German medalist Karl Goetz jumped at the opportunity to satirize these events, designing a medal which would become infamous. The idea of Death handing out the tickets to the eventual passengers–and victims–of Goetz's Germany did not sit well with Great Britain nor her soon-to-be official ally in the war efforts, the United States. Both made copies of this gruesome memento in order to remember the ignominious act and also raise funds for the victims' families. This, however, is one of the rare originals by Goetz, made with the corrected date of the sinking.


    Upload: 1 September 2023.


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