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Dania and The Danaïdes on a Danish Brewery Plaquette

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Okay, just to set things straight, I paid way more than I had hoped to on this medal, but it was one that would have haunted me if I had not bid as high as I went...




DENMARK. 1896 Carlsberg New Brewery 25th Anniversary Plaquette. Bronze silverplate, 71 x 51mm. By Jules Clement Chaplain. About Uncirculated.


Obv. Warrior maiden Dania with sword and banner, NY CARLSBERG, LABOREMUS PRO PATRIA, Let us Work for the Fatherland. Swastikas flank three dates at base. Rev. Muse standing with alembic, another is seated on sack of hops holding barley ears, reversed swastika in upper field. Possibly cleaned at some time. Struck by Paris Mint, Cornucopia-BRONZE on edge. A charming composition.


This silvered bronze plaque commemorates the 25th anniversary of Carlsberg's second brewery. J. C. Jacobsen had built the company's first brewery in 1847, when he started in business. This second brewery was constructed for his son Carl, inspiration for the company's name. Carl managed operations of the new brewery ("NY CARLSBERG"="NEW CARLSBERG") from 1882 (it took 11 years to complete) until his death in 1914. Although J.C. had intended the new Carlsberg to be a sister brewery to Carlsberg, Carl broke away from his father, and the two breweries became fierce competitors. Carl merged his operations with Carlsberg in 1906, nearly 20 years after his father's death. The swastika was Carlsberg's symbol from the early days, though the company abandoned the symbol after its adoption by the Nazis to avoid any implied connection with Hitler's party. However, it can still be seen on the huge elephant that has been at the entrance to the brewery in Copenhagen since 1905.

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I always appreciate the fact that in numismatics we grade by the high points.


Sorry, though to see the Labor for Fatherland theme (literally a command: laboramus = let us work) from a beer company. You would think -- I would hope -- that with enough beer in the world, we might not ever go to war.


On the upside, Carlsberg in Copenhagen did establish a foundation to support physics research at the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen. In Thirty Years that Shook Physics, George Gamow attributed that support to biochemist Linderstrom Lang who directed the brewery's research.

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