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GIES, LUDWIG, 1914 WWI Cast Bronze Art Medal


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wvz62.jpg

 

PRISONERS OF WAR, 1914, Cast bronze uniface, 66mm, 80.04g., Edge-punch; C.POELLATH SCHROBENH., Ernsting WVZ 62, Frankenhuis 1368, VZ, RRRR

 

With a rope tether in hand a solitary German soldier with a rifle on his shoulder leads an almost docile file of international prisoners of war; French, Russian, British, Italian, Serbian, and East Indian to their fate.

 

This is Ludwig Gies’ statement on the futility of winning, losing, and capture during the war.

 

8 Known examples

 

7 in museums

Brüssel, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Albert I Penningkabinett (Royal Library).

London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals.

London, Imperial War Museum

Munich, Staatliche Münzsammlung (National Coin Collection).

Paris, Musée d’Historie Contemporaine (Museum of Contemporary History).

Stuttgart, Württembergisches Landesmuseum (Württemberg Regional Museum).

Vienna, Kunsthistoriches Museum (Art History Museum).

 

1 in Private Collection

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I'm not sure entirely understand what the statement was, but it's a beautiful medal nonetheless. :ninja:

 

 

Place it within the context of the other Gies medals I have posted here. It is easier to just read here, Gies than have me write it all out again.

 

Look for the subtle visual cues that Gies sculpts into the subject matter...only one soldier; slack rope; etc...

 

Hey, I'm open to any allegories someone might pick up on while viewing this medal....Gies loved allegories.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I'm pretty sure there is significance in how Gies ordered the "belligerent countries" in the line too...

Can you expand on that a bit? I think the order might be in terms of general proximity to Germany, but I am not sure if that is what you mean.

 

Not only is the rope slack, but it is loosely held in the German soldier's hand, as if not really caring if it falls or is pulled from his hand.

 

If this was made after Germany's defeat in WWI, then the futility of the capture of the other soldiers would be all the more pronounced. However, in this case, the medal is from 1914, a time when war fervor swept Britain and probably Germany as well. Gies would then have probably been significantly out of step with most others at the time.

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"Can you expand on that a bit? I think the order might be in terms of general proximity to Germany, but I am not sure if that is what you mean."

 

I haven't had the time to sit and stare at the medal and try to figure out what is all meant by it....could it be they are ordered by their timed aligned against Germany, size of forces, battles lost, etc.? Not sure as yet.

 

Gies was already marked as a pacifist by the government and military in 1914. Actually, most of the Munich shool artists were...they weren't mass producing patriotic, and jingoistic pieces like those coming out of the Berlin School at the same time.

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"Can you expand on that a bit? I think the order might be in terms of general proximity to Germany, but I am not sure if that is what you mean."

 

I haven't had the time to sit and stare at the medal and try to figure out what is all meant by it....could it be they are ordered by their timed aligned against Germany, size of forces, battles lost, etc.? Not sure as yet.

 

Gies was already marked as a pacifist by the government and military in 1914. Actually, most of the Munich shool artists were...they weren't mass producing patriotic, and jingoistic pieces like those coming out of the Berlin School at the same time.

 

I don't know why I didn't notice it before, but it looks like only the first prisoner is tied with the rope. The others seem to be just blindly following behind.

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