Lot Archive


№ 59


31 May 1995

Hammer Price:

1891. German Exhibition, London, bronze medal by W. Mayer of Stuttgart, uniformed bust of Emperor Wilhelm II, legend around, reverse view of exhibition building, inscription above and below, 70mm (BHM 3423-RR; Fiala 1219). About extremely fine and extremely rare (£40-60)

The German Exhibition was held at Earl’s Court from 9 May till October 10, 1891, to coincide with the visit of the German Emperor and Empress in July. It appears to have been a great success attracting 1,377,908 visitors. Yet curiously, this (the only medal known to the cataloguers associated with the event) is a great rarity: it is recorded by Brown from a single specimen, that in the British Museum, and is the first example seen by the cataloguers. The exhibition seems to have been organised to celebrate German arts and industry rather than as an industrial fair or exposition typical of the time. The medal does not have the appearance of a prize medal; if it was a commemorative to be sold at the exhibition it was, despite the number of visitors, a singularly unsuccessful one, and it may be some kind of presentation piece.