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Goetz Medal Cabinet finally on terra firma


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The 6'8" door to the left of the cabinet gives you a good reference to the size of this thing. 76" tall X 38" wide, 102 drawers. I'm thinking my collection is only going to fill 35 of the drawers at this time....15 drawers for the WWI satirical series alone.

 

Still in good shape even though the original construction is from the late 1700's.

 

 

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The grandson of Karl told me that Karl had converted one of his antique cupboards into this coin cabinet around 1904 when he first arrived in Munich. Goetz was a collector of antiques as well as other medalists work and this was already a piece in his collection. The conservators notes, below, lend credence to this information.

 

Conservators letter report reads as thus:

 

RE: Wooden Cupboard of German Origin

Measurements:Height: 76 3/4 inches

Depth: 19 3/4 inches

Width: 40 1/2 inches

The wooden cupboard is in two pieces with 102 sliding trays; the lower case having two doors on a raised base and the upper case having two doors, with molded panels in a frame. The entire surface of the cupboard is a painted "Faux bois" finish with graining done in an imitation of highly figured walnut. This coating disguises the fact that both cabinets are constructed in pine wood and veneered with another wood. The applied moldings of the upper case are cherrywood.

 

The construction techniques used in both cares are of traditional 18th century mortise and tenon technique with dovetail joinery. The lower case has nails that are late 18th or early 20th century manufactured and appears to be original to its construction. The upper case has wooden pegs used to hold boards in place. The sliding trays were used to contain bronze art medallions and plaster casts. The flat surface of all the trays had been covered with different fabrics to cushion the art work. The trays had the dirty fabric removed and then vacuumed.The fabric is to be returned to the owner.

 

In my estimation, the upper case is of 18th century German origin and the lower case of late 19th century origin. These two cases were paired together at that time and given the faux bois graining in imitation of walnut.

 

Treatment of the cupboard consisted of examination for structural integrity which is intact and damage to the finish. The finish has sustained numerous scratches and abrasions resulting in some loss to the paint coat. Also, the case was quite dirty. As a result, the cupboard was cleaned and touched up the paint losses only in the most glaring places with removable paints. The cupboard was subsequently waxed and polished before personal delivery to the owner.

 

"Interestingly, what internal surface of boxes? A medal from being long time for this surface does not receive corrosion?"

 

The drawers are made from quarter-sawn oak and framed in cherry. This wood is 100-225 years old...long past the time to worry about outgassing from the wood. When Goetz was using it he had the drawers lined in a beige velvet. Since it has been sitting in humid conditions since at least the mid-80's, the material has become filthy and musty. I am relining the drawers with archival, black velvet. All I can say is, if it was safe enough for the greatest medalist to ever live to store his medals and master models in then it's safe enough for my collection. :ninja:

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That is one of the most interesting pieces I've seen. I think it's just beautiful, and the historical significance really makes it unique. Looks like you have quite a way to go to fill it up, huh? :ninja:

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Looks like you have quite a way to go to fill it up, huh? :ninja:

 

I'll bet Goetzdude probably has a fair amount towards filling it up -- I've seen his previous pix of his collection in drawers! Altogether awesome, Goetzdude. Are you going to write up an article with pix and publish it somewhere?

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I'll bet Goetzdude probably has a fair amount towards filling it up -- I've seen his previous pix of his collection in drawers! Altogether awesome, Goetzdude. Are you going to write up an article with pix and publish it somewhere?

 

 

Frank, I think my collection will fit in one third of the drawers. The satiricals, that number 175, will fit in 15 drawers with breathing room for each medal. I'll need to keep my other piece of drawered furniture around as it has deeper drawers that can hold hold the plaster moulds, hubs and dies, and tools that I also have in the collection. The drawers on Goetz' cabinet are very shallow but I assume he knew how deep they had to be to fit his medals in them. I'll know once I get through with the relining process and start putting medals in place.

 

I have approached MCA (Medal Collectors of America) with the idea of either posting something to their website or writing an article for their newsletter. Frank, Do you know of any other venues that might be interested in seeing and learning about this piece? I think it is unique enough that the info should be shared. Of course, Goetz' engraving tool set and letter punches I acquired at the same time as the cabinet could prove interesting at the same time methinks.

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Fantastic cabinet and a superb history to go with it, thank you very much for sharing. I've genuinely found this exceedingly interesting as is your site!!

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Bravo! Have you thought about The Numismatist? An article on Goetz in general working around the cabinet, tools, des, hubs, casts, etc would be interesting and reach a large audience. They pay as well (and publish in color). You have all the pieces for a fascinating article.

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Have you thought about The Numismatist? An article on Goetz in general working around the cabinet, tools, des, hubs, casts, etc would be interesting and reach a large audience.

 

Now, there is a terrific idea! :ninja:

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The other option is The Medal published by the british Art Medal Society (BAMS). It has a circulation of around a 1,000 and goes to BAMS and FIDEM members. Philip Attwood at the British Museum is the editor.

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  • 1 month later...

UPDATE: I just spent the last four days lining drawers with cotton padding and topping it with black velvet. This turned out to be more time consuming than I had imagined. The entire collection transfer is just about completed and it looks like I will be using up half of the available drawer space. This means I have 50 drawers filled. I gave the medals room to breath this time around since I have the extra space. I must admit that they do look nice in their new home. The oversized pieces (too thick for the drawers) will remain in their current home in the oak geology cabinet I have been using. Many of the master reduction models and plaster moulds will stay there too.

 

Once this project is done, I will start cataloging and photographing Goetz's engraving tools and letter punches that I bought at the same time with this cabinet.

 

One more note, I just received back the Award Certificate Goetz won posthumously from the "Il Exposicion Nacional De Numismatica E Internacional DeMedallas. Madrid - 1951, 18 Noviembre - 2 Ocrubre". He won the silver medal but never saw this award. I purchased the certificate along with the cabinet and immediately sent it to Joel Oppenheimer in Chicago for restoration and conservation. The certificate looks like new now and adds some authority to my ever growing Goetz ephemra collection. I'll try to get this imaged for all to see if there is interest.

 

That's all for now...S

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I'm looking forward to more on your wonderful collection. That cabinet is a beautiful and useful piece of history and a fine work of art in its own right. Thanks for being so kind in sharing this with us.

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I'd love to see pics of everything! Whenever you're ready, so am I :ninja:

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That is just an incredible addition to your collection. To say that you have the cabinet that Goetz put his own personal medals in. Amazing.

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I am sure that Karl Goetz would be proud of you. Your collection is like a KG museum...

 

 

Thanks everyone.... yes, sort of like a museum of sorts. I even have Karl's Third Reich workbook. Required by the Nazi's, this book was another requirement to manipulate the german population. Karl never joined the Nazi Party and his book proves he only did the bare minimum to keep them off his back. His book is as pristine as the day of issuance. Karl signed the book and added all of his jobs from apprenticeship in the early 1890's and then his business in Munich from 1905 until the early-thirties when the book was issued to him. By the condition of the book it appears that it was then put away and never opened by Karl again. Truely a one-of-a-kind momento of Karl's and the Third Reich.

 

I also have his business license that he had issued in the early 40's after moving from one home to another in Munich.

 

Every piece adds to the patchwork knowledge of the man and his life. Of course, all of these artifacts will be displayed and discussed on my web site which I hope to finally have up to the public in 6-9 months.

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And when does the book come out?

 

 

Probably never....that's why I'm putting up a very expensive web site instead. If there is interest sometime in the future for a coffeetable book containing images of medals, like the book "Art of the Coin", I might be interested, But really, when you think about it, the web site will have the most recent information and discoveries updated to it while a book remains a picture in time. I am hoping to gleen additional info from many people throughout the world via the forum that's being produced for the site. Dynamic information vs static is a no-brainer for me...and I hope for everyone else too.

 

Yeah, still not the feel and look of a nicely produced book but to produce something along the lines of quality I would demand would have to sell for $500 a copy and no one, or very few, would want one that badly. I am beginning to have relationships with a number of the larger museums in Europe. I guess that there is always a possibility of sponsership to produce a book somewhere down the road but it would have to be after I retire, which is looking less likely with each day. S

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