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GIES: New Acquisition


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Erinnerung an den weltkrieg - Ostpreußenflucht (Remembrance of the World War - East Prussia Flight), 1915, Cast Bronze, 52.2mm X 51.7mm, 42g. Ernsting WVZ115, Six known examples; three in museums; Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle (Hamburg Arts Center). London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals, and the Munich, Staatliche Münzsammlung (National Coin Collection). Three examples in private collection (counting this one). Sheldon Scale R-7 Extremely Rare.

 

wvz115.jpg

 

Obverse: On a convex surface the flight of refugees symbolized by an old man pulling a cart containing family furniture and belongings as well as a woman and six children. Another woman walks along side and comforts one of the children. L G on exergue formed from a raised piece of ground with grasses. No Date.

 

Reverse: On a concave surface and centered, a rectangle tablet with the words; ERINNERUNG AN DEN WELTKRIEG (Remembrance of the World War). Above the tablet is a wreathed sword, to the left, three cannon balls, to the right, a pickelhaube, and below, an eight rayed star.

 

 

A sweet little addition to my Gies collection which now numbers 25 WWI pieces.

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When did Goetz die or stop producing? I take it he never made satiricals of the second WW?

 

 

DP, This was made by Ludwig Gies, a Munich school contemporary of Goetz's. Neither of these two made satiricals of WWII with Hitler running the show.

 

Gies was marked as a degenerate artist and fired from his job t the University in Berlin. Being designated so, he could not find work and was not allowed to produce any art. He became destitute through the war and survived to work again after Hitler was gone. He died in 1960 I believe.

 

Goetz did "fight" back by creating medals with Hitler's portrait on them that weren't pre-approved by Hitler's henchmen...these are some of the rarer cast pieces because production was shut down immediately upon the Nazi discovery. Goetz was fond of showing Hitler's double chin and almost weasel-like facial characteristics party following artists would leave out or ignore.

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Fascinating. I keep forgetting Goetz and Gies are different folks.

 

 

They were actually quite different in their reasoning behind their artistic drive. Gies produced his medals as art, like an artist’s limited print/etching and in a small number. Goetz on the other hand produced medals to make money and therefore was more driven in the commercial artist way, like say and illustrator such as Norman Rockwell. Examples of his pieces could number into the hundreds with one, the Hindenburg commemorative medal, topping a million pieces.

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Nice piece. To follow up on your comments, I was struck by a conversation with young artists at the FIDEM conference a few years ago. The first thing they look at is the edition numbers for an art medal to determine whether they considered it a potential piece of art or a commercial product. Not necessarily my criterion, but edition number is still a very real consideration among some European artists.

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Nice piece. To follow up on your comments, I was struck by a conversation with young artists at the FIDEM conference a few years ago. The first thing they look at is the edition numbers for an art medal to determine whether they considered it a potential piece of art or a commercial product. Not necessarily my criterion, but edition number is still a very real consideration among some European artists.

 

 

That's correct Bill. Additionally, Gies would only make one example for inclusion into art medal competitions. Any additional examples came from orders by the museums and the occasional collector after seeing the work in competition. Gies didn't have quantities of any manufacturing materials at the time so he didn't just cast up a couple dozen in hopes that they would sell...in fact, he usually had the Poellath mint cast any additional pieces for him.

 

 

I had a guy comment from a German forum that the old man looked Russian and there was no way he could pull a cart of that size weighed down the way it was...he then said it's no wonder, taking these obsevations into account, that only six pieces were made...implying that no one would have bought them. :ninja: Obviously there is no understanding of expressionism, the Eastern Front in WWI, or artists from his own country.

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