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GOETZ: K483 Obverse Master Reduction model


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K 483var. REICH CHANCELLOR ADOLPH HITLER, Obverse Master Reduction Model, 1933, Iron uniface, 109.2mm tondo, AU, RRRR.

 

Hitler Civil bust, right, swastika in left field, Pearled border, Legend: REICHSKANZLER AD. HITLER.

 

This cast is of the highest rarity and importance in the Goetz corpus.

 

Contrary to the ‘innocent’ stance stated by Goetz below, it is a safe assumption that Goetz was probably guilty of the ‘impertinence’ accusation made by the Nazi leaders. He tried to push their buttons but was caught.

 

K483var.JPG

 

Karl Goetz’ own explanation of the medal:

 

There came the day of the take-over of power on the 30th of January, 1933. My publisher, Hans Nantz of Berlin-Nikolassee of Bock and Com-pany, called me the very same day and asked whether I had already made an Adolf Hitler medal. My answer was negative, and I also mentioned that I did not intend to engage in such a medal. He asked me whether I was of a different political view. I let him know subtly, although it was on the telephone, how I thought about it and declined categorically to make such a medal. The next day came another phone call. I evaded the issue by stating that I had no picture to work from. Further, I stated, I had never yet seen the new Chancellor face to face. "If you do not want to make the Hitler medal, there are many others who are anxious to do this work," was his prompt reply. But it did not stop at this. The very next day I received a special delivery letter with pictures of Hitler, and the friendly request to submit to the signs of the times and make the medal, since the collecting world in Germany wanted a medal of Hitler made only by me.

 

Because of my pleasant relationship of many years with Nantz, I let myself be persuaded to make the first Hitler medal. (opus 484) [Author' s note: Goetz apparently overlooked opus 483 when he wrote this. Opus 483 was made by him in March of 1933 with an image of Hitler on the obverse, not a very flattering picture of him at that].

 

For the reverse [of opus 484] I used the decree of Hindenburg of May 5th, 1933, after which both flags, the old as well as the new, were rightful emblems of the German Reich and existed side by side. It appealed to my sense of justice that the swastika should not triumph easily over the old honorable flag of the black, white and red colors. On the obverse I used the inscription: REICHSKANZLER AD. HITLER. This was a big blunder which I committed: [AD in German (properly shown as a.D.) is used against a military rank or official position if retired as ausser Diensten (out-of-service) - for example: Hauptmann a.D.means Captain (Ret)] The connotation was given that it could be inter-preted as Chancellor of the Reich, retired (a.D.) whereas the medal intended to show the abbreviation of the first name Adolf as AD. in capital letters.

 

The medal was already minted by the Government mint of Berlin when the adjutant of Hitler appeared and ordered the immediate stop of the striking.1

 

From the Brown House in Munich (the Nazi party headquarters for all of Germany - Das Braune Haus - ,) I received a most insulting tele-phone call. At the beginning of the conversation the caller had asked me whether I was a party member. When I said no, I was showered with insults of various degrees. Should I dare to put this medal on the market, they would take care of me. The facial expression of Hitler, I was in-formed, also was much too pugnacious. The fate of this piece, and the following one, was determined by this call.

 

1, The opus 484 was later re-used for the medal described in the following paragraphs as Hindenburg-Papen-Hitler.

 

Final Production medal after alterations by Goetz:

 

K%20483a.jpg

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Another political mistake of Goetz :ninja: He was lucky, many others didn't survive after less importnat offenses addressed to Fuhrer.

But anyway, the mistake with the sunk date of Lusitania was a very good reason for British propaganda in WWI and maybe the Nazis in 1933 weren't yet so ferocius like in 1940's.

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[Author' s note: Goetz apparently overlooked opus 483 when he wrote this. Opus 483 was made by him in March of 1933 with an image of Hitler on the obverse, not a very flattering picture of him at that].

 

Very interesting.

 

Would you by any chance have a picture of opus 483, the "forgotten" portrait mentioned above?

 

No doubt the earlier medal, the reluctance to create another and the thinly veiled insult were all carefully noted by Nazi officials. If Goetz were a less prominent artist, he might have met with a more unpleasant fate.

 

So you have the "Obverse Master Reduction Model"? I'm amazed that it is not locked up in a major museum collection! ;) Congratulations on such an important acquisition. ;):ninja:

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Fantastic acquisition and and a rare plum for your collection.

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Very interesting.

 

Would you by any chance have a picture of opus 483, the "forgotten" portrait mentioned above?

 

No doubt the earlier medal, the reluctance to create another and the thinly veiled insult were all carefully noted by Nazi officials. If Goetz were a less prominent artist, he might have met with a more unpleasant fate.

 

So you have the "Obverse Master Reduction Model"? I'm amazed that it is not locked up in a major museum collection! ;) Congratulations on such an important acquisition. ;):ninja:

 

 

Hey Grivna!

 

Actually, the image I put at the bottom of my post is the subsequent K 483 after Goetz was required to change it to what was 'acceptable'. I'm sure he pissed off the Nazi's with this second one too as it didn't exemplify Hitler in the right ways...take a look at that double chin! Goetz had a problem with his subsequent medal, K 484, because he hadn't received the Party okay to make it and it didn't show a swastika. Take a look at the K 484 on my gallery...you'll note that the flag on the reverse is the old German flag...this variety is rare, especially in this size. It was immediately changed to include the required hakenkruez against Goetz' wishes but, again, he tried to show his distaste for Hitler and his Party. Kienast had these numbers screwed up when he wrote his book...one of many errors that need to be corrected!

 

Yes, the iron piece at the head of this topic is in my collection. It came from the Stacks auction back in 2003 I think. They had it listed as a trial cast but I have been told by a number of experts that there was no reason for Goetz to cast trials...he knew exactly what the piece would look like so why waste the time and resources to cast a trial?

 

This uniface model, above, has remnants of adhesive (as most 'trials' in my collection do) where undoubtedly the model had been 'glued' to a stable surface in order to use a reducing machine which employed the 'pantograph' reduction principle. An iron/steel model such as this one would need to be used due to its durability. From this iron model the reducing takes place mechanically onto a steel die. The machine uses a tracing point and cutting tools with the result being a 'hub' (Hochschnitt) which would then have to be worked over for the finer touches by a skilled engraver, obviously Goetz in this case. The hub was then hardened in a high temperature furnace and from this, the final die (Pragesteninel) is created by impressing the hub image into the die under pressure. After several other stages of treatment, such as turning the die in a lathe, adding detail mechanically, polishing the die to a mirror-like finish and grinding it to the correct finshed dimensions, the die is ready for striking the first medal.

 

So, in a nut-shell, it is my opinion that this was the Master Obverse Model used to make the obverse of this recalled medal. I seem to recall hearing about one of these medals actually surviving the purge...it may even have been a few (I'll look into this)...even so, they'll never be as rare as this Master model from where they were originally produced. ;)

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I just found a reference to a 36mm gold example of this medal sold recently in the Moeller auction 43, Lot 3466. I don't have the PR handy but the initial estimate was set at 4000 Euro. It's the only example I've seen to date.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Goetzdude,

 

Thank you for publishing this interesting story. In relation to the "AD" I have heard on another interpretation.

AD is pronounced in German as ADE, which at the same time means "Good bye". A Reichskanzler AD (ADE) is one to leave immediately.

This might better suit to the situation and the (assumed) attitude of Goetz at that time, because Hitler was at that time not out of duty, but many wished that his chancellorship should be a short affair.

Later Goetz medals are stronger linked to the Nazi’s propaganda like the one on the battle in the Scandinavian Sea and others which glorify war heroes.

Goetz in my view took a position like millions of other Germans; he tried to survive in this time. His business as sculpturer was the basis of his income.

But not all artists cooperate in such way. Gerhard Marcks, another German sculpturer, was forbidden to work during the Nazi’s period, because he did not follow the Nazi’s style of art.

But not everyone has of course the attitude of a hero.

But there is something, which is interesting at the same time. The Goetz' medals of the Weimar time have a strong satiric character and style.

This is lost from 1933 onwards and is switched into a neutral and mainly objective style. The objectivity of course is linked in many cases to the style and not to the content of his medals.

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Hello friends of Goetz medals,

 

here are some additional historical information in relation to Kienast 483.

On the reverse are two dates:

5th March 1933, this was the date on the election for the Reichstag, were the NSDAP (Nazi's party) achieved 43,9 % of the votes.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_election%2C_1933

 

12th March 1933, this is the date of the provisional "flag decree" of Reichspräsident Hindenburg, that the national flag in black, white and red (as symbol of the national tradition) and the red flag with the swastika should be used together. The later flag as symbol for the "renewed and powerful" Germany.

 

The inscription on the reverse "Deutschland erwache" (Germany awake), a Nazi's slogan, could of course be used in another sense. That Germany should realise, that with the Nazis they are on the wrong way. But due to the social change of most people, they did not realise the danger of the future.

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