Lusitania propaganda medal


Jan 7, 2002
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I notice the Lusitania 'propaganda' medal pops up, dozens at a time every month on Ebay.
Were these medals mass produced?
Were there different versions?
If so, which version of the medal was the rarest, and the most collectable?
What should a collector look for?
To my uniformed eye, all the Lusitania medals look alike..

Regards


Tarn Stephanos
 

Peter Kelly

Member
Nov 19, 2003
74
0
156
Hi Tarn

The original, German medal, is the rarest and most valuable. These do not come in boxes, or with leaflets.

Briefly, Karl Goetz struck the original medals to commemorate a famous German victory, but when the German government saw the negative worldwide reaction to the sinking, they ordered the medals be destroyed.

The story goes that one or more of the medals made their way to England, and seeing an opportunity for anti-German propaganda, Lord Sainsbury had over 300,000 copies made. The copies were sold in little boxes, with an explanatory leaflet, encouraging people to pass on the leaflet to spread the word about how inhuman the germans were in striking a medal to celebrate the slaughter of so many innocent lives. Proceeds from the sale of these copies went to St. Dunstan's Blinded Soldiers and Sailors Hostel.

Most people will tell you that genuine, original German medals are rare, and are mostly in museums or private collections. They would command high prices if offered for sale. I very much doubt if original medals come up for sale on eBay or anywhere else, despite they being advertised. I have two of the English copies, complete with boxes and leaflets, and I know a number of people who have similar copies, but to my knowledge I have never seen an original German one.

The English copies are made of iron. I do not know what the original German medals were made from. There were also French and Swedish commemorative medals struck, but these were made in small numbers and are extremely rare as far as I can tell.

To conclude, in my opinion genuine German medals are so rare, the chances of aquiring one are slim. Your best bet is one of the English copies. Some medals state the date of the sinking as being May 5 or Mai 5, others May 7 or Mai 7. English or German. I recall finding a detailed account of Karl Goetz on some website which will give you further information if you can find it. I would be worth doing a search on his name.

Regards,

Peter.

P.S. I enjoyed the book!!!
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
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UK
A couple of links which were posted in an earlier thread:



Lusitania-Medal.gif
 

Greg Burns

Member
Dec 4, 2003
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0
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Hi Tam, Hello Peter,

I don't have a lot to add to Peter's response, but will mention that the original Goetz medals are usually in bronze, though there are other alloys (iron and silver specifically). There are two varieties of the Goetz original, one dated 5 MAI and the other 7 MAI. The 5 MAI is the scarcer of the two.

The British varieties (there are several distinct varieties) are always in iron. The commonest is dated 5 MAY, and a scarcer variety uses 5 MAI (the easiest distinction to the scarcer genuine Goetz is the lack of serifs on the letters of MAI). So both spellings are used on various British copies.

There is also a USA copy that uses 5 MAI, and that one has a particularly distinctive pumpkin-headed skeleton. He has quite a goofy grin, and there are other diagnostics that are unmistakable for this one, too, chiefly the alloy. It's a pewter like alloy with a specific gravity around 10 or 11.

By the way, Peter, I understood that it was Gordon Selfridge who undertook the production of the British medals. Where did you get your information about Lord Sainsbury's involvement?

Regards,

Greg

P.S. I have a Web site at www.LusitaniaMedal.com that has a bit more information...
 

Peter Kelly

Member
Nov 19, 2003
74
0
156
Hi Greg,

You are correct in stating that it was Gordon Selfridge who funded the British copies. I was destracted when typing my message last evening, and in my haste to finish it and get it posted, I erroneously supplied the wrong name.

Thanks for spotting the error and correcting my mistake.

Regards,

Peter
 

Mr.May

Member
Jan 27, 2019
1
0
11
Hi Tarn

The original, German medal, is the rarest and most valuable. These do not come in boxes, or with leaflets.

Briefly, Karl Goetz struck the original medals to commemorate a famous German victory, but when the German government saw the negative worldwide reaction to the sinking, they ordered the medals be destroyed.

The story goes that one or more of the medals made their way to England, and seeing an opportunity for anti-German propaganda, Lord Sainsbury had over 300,000 copies made. The copies were sold in little boxes, with an explanatory leaflet, encouraging people to pass on the leaflet to spread the word about how inhuman the germans were in striking a medal to celebrate the slaughter of so many innocent lives. Proceeds from the sale of these copies went to St. Dunstan's Blinded Soldiers and Sailors Hostel.

Most people will tell you that genuine, original German medals are rare, and are mostly in museums or private collections. They would command high prices if offered for sale. I very much doubt if original medals come up for sale on eBay or anywhere else, despite they being advertised. I have two of the English copies, complete with boxes and leaflets, and I know a number of people who have similar copies, but to my knowledge I have never seen an original German one.

The English copies are made of iron. I do not know what the original German medals were made from. There were also French and Swedish commemorative medals struck, but these were made in small numbers and are extremely rare as far as I can tell.

To conclude, in my opinion genuine German medals are so rare, the chances of aquiring one are slim. Your best bet is one of the English copies. Some medals state the date of the sinking as being May 5 or Mai 5, others May 7 or Mai 7. English or German. I recall finding a detailed account of Karl Goetz on some website which will give you further information if you can find it. I would be worth doing a search on his name.

Regards,

Peter.

P.S. I enjoyed the book!!!
Hi Peter , regarding the lusitania medal i believe I have an original one , it's dated 5th mai , I haven't the foggiest idea where I could go to find out ..all the best ian
 

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