The Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 36, September 4, 2022, Article 18


Jeremy Bostwick of Numismagram passed along these highlights from his recent upload of new medals to his site, with all of the medals being from the hand of famed medalist Karl Goetz. A number of these focus upon events during or shortly after the conclusion of World War I, with some even having a tie-in to the United States. For all of the new items from this month, please visit -Editor

  Goetz Serbian Assassin medal

102044 | GERMANY & EUROPE. The Russian Ambassador receives the Serbian Assassin cast bronze Medal. Dated 1914, though likely a later casting. "Serajewo/Der Funke des Weltbrandes"—on the spark of the global conflagration (57mm, 57.09 g, 12h). By K. Goetz in München. DER RVSS GESANDTE VON HARTWIG EMPFÄNGT SERB MÖRDER, Russian ambassador Hartwig standing left, receiving Serbian assassins and presenting them with a bag of money / DER FVNKE DES WELT-BRANDES, assassin advancing on a road to Sarajevo, holding bomb behind back. Edge: Plain. Kienast 132; Klose 1.1; Art of Devastation p. 81, fig. 5. Mint State Details. Deeper brown surfaces, though a few spots of corrosion are noted. An important and scarce issue recounting the events leading up to what would cause the first of the two great world wars. $495.

Starting merely as a local issue between Austrian-dominated Serbia and the Russian Empire (who wished to have greater influence in the Balkans), World War I escalated upon the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian crown prince, Franz Ferdinand, along with his wife Sophie in the streets of Sarajevo in 1914. Conducted by Serbians who were members of the Black Hand, this caused Austria to punish Serbia, with Russia then coming to the aid of Serbia. In turn, Germany's decades-old alliance with Austria brought her into the conflict against Russia, with France and Great Britain (owing to their own alliance with Russia) in against Germany and Austria. Through numerous alliances, this Balkan issue quickly spiraled into the largest conflict then seen by the world.

To read the complete item description, see:
102044 | GERMANY. Russian Ambassador receives Serbian Assassin bronze Medal. (

  Goetz Lord Northcliffe medal

102076 | GERMANY & GREAT BRITAIN. Alfred, Lord Northcliffe cast iron Medal. Dated 1914. "Englische Hetzpresse"—on the hateful English press (57mm, 53.39 g, 12h). By K. Goetz in München. NORTHCLIFFE, half-length figure of Northcliffe facing slightly right, sharpening his quill upon whetstone; frog below right hand, inkwell to lower right / DER BEARBEITER DER ENGLISCH•VOLKS SEELE (the editor of the minds of the English), the devil, holding torch and newspapers, seated upon the globe which he sets ablaze. Edge: Some filing marks as made. Kienast 150; Klose –; Art of Devastation –. Choice Mint State. Deep charcoal-gray surfaces, with some lighter hues around the devices. Ex Leigh Park Collection. $465.

Northcliffe at the time owned the world's largest newspaper chain, and here Goetz alludes to him molding English public opinion, fanning the flames against Germany, and using his pen (archaically represented by a quill) as a sharpened blade. In addition to acquiring the Evening News in 1894, he founded the Daily Mail in 1896 and the Daily Mirror in 1903, and also acquired the Weekly Dispatch in the same year. He owned The Observer from 1905-1911 as well as The Times from 1908-1922.

To read the complete item description, see:
102076 | GERMANY. Alfred, Lord Northcliffe cast iron Medal. (

  Goetz Peace Terms

102045 | GERMANY & UNITED STATES. America's Peace Terms cast bronze Medal. Dated 1918. "Wilsons Botschaft, Die 14 Punkte"—on the occasion of President Wilson's "Fourteen Points" speech before a joint session of Congress (57mm, 76.51 g, 12h). By K. Goetz in München. WILSON'S BOTSCHAFT, half-length figure of Woodrow Wilson reaching over globe, pointing to tablet inscribed with fourteen points / WELTFRIEDENS PROGRAMM (world peace program), eagle with wings spread, grasping in claws tablet inscribed with four additional points; scales behind, five orbs of fire raining from above. Edge: Plain. Kienast 203; Klose –; Art of Devastation p. 276, fig. 71. Choice Mint State. Olive-brown surfaces. $495.

On 8 January 1918, Woodrow Wilson delivered a speech to Congress in which he outlined his Fourteen Points, a post-war plan for peace in Europe. Allies widely distributed copies of the speech behind German lines to encourage Germany to surrender, with the expectation that fair terms would be reached. The terms of surrender ultimately changed, however, and called for crushing penalties that shocked Germans and inspired Goetz to create this satirical medal.

To read the complete item description, see:
102045 | GERMANY. America's Peace Terms cast bronze Medal (

  Goetz Shipping Tonnage medal

102073 | GERMANY, GREAT BRITAIN, the NETHERLANDS & UNITED STATES. Shortage of Shipping Tonnage cast iron Medal. Dated 1918. "Holländischen Schiffsraub"—on the taking of Dutch ships by the United States (57mm, 58.24 g, 12h). By K. Goetz in München. Uncle Sam (representing the United States) and John Bull (representing the United Kingdom) advancing left across carpet of tulips (representing the Netherlands) and carrying ships under their arms (one of which is named Hollandia); seascape in background, windmill at a distance / NOT LEHRTSTEHLEN (necessity is the teacher of stealing), various steam and sailing ships upon the sea. Edge: Some filing marks as made, otherwise plain. Kienast 210; Klose 12.25; Art of Devastation p. 278, fig. 73. Choice Mint State. Gray-brown surfaces, with some hints of red around some of the devices. Ex Leigh Park Collection. $435.

Following the entry of the United States into the war, there was an immediate need for shipping a great deal of resources and troops to the frontlines in Europe. To make up for this immense necessity, President Wilson ordered the seizure of Dutch vessels in American ports, citing the right of angary—an international law, and an aspect that further angered the Germans.

To read the complete item description, see:
102073 | GERMANY. Shortage of Shipping Tonnage cast iron Medal. (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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