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Great War Commemorative Medal with Swords (Kriegserinnerungsmedaille mit Schwertern) 1914-1918, miniature
[AT496]
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Great War Commemorative Medal with Swords (Kriegserinnerungsmedaille mit Schwertern) 1914-1918, miniature
Click to enlarge

Miniature circular gilt bronze medal with laterally-pierced loop for suspension with crossed swords imposed; the face with the Austrian eagle surmounting the arms of Austria, inscribed ‘FÜR ÖSTERREICH’ (for Austria) below; the reverse inscribed ‘1914-1918’ and signed ‘GRIENAUER’ within a border of oak leaves; diameter 18.17mm (0.71 inch); without ribbon. It was not until 1932 that Austria awarded a medal to her participants in the Great War. The delay may be ascribed to the great loss of territory and population that Austria suffered as a result of the Treaty of Saint-Germain, a small republic emerging from a great empire. The year 1932 saw the suppression of a Socialist uprising in Vienna and the emergence of an authoritarian right-wing government. The timing of the issue of the medal, and the design of the face, may be seen as significant in this context. Edwin Grienauer (1893-1964) was a prolific and important Viennese designer of coins and medals. Full-size versions had the swords on the ribbon but miniatures, especially those intended to be worn on ketten (chains), often had them imposed on the suspension, as in this very fine example.

 
Great War Commemorative Medal with Swords (Kriegserinnerungsmedaille mit Schwertern) 1914-1918, miniature
Click to enlarge
Great War Commemorative Medal with Swords (Kriegserinnerungsmedaille mit Schwertern) 1914-1918, miniature
Click to enlarge
       
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