World Coins

Porcelain medal from Germany marks invasion of france

A 1940 Meissen porcelain medal marks the German invasion of Paris. It realized about $115 U.S. in a recent auction.

Images courtesy of Emporium Hamburg.

Germany’s Meissen porcelain has a history more than 300 years old. 

That history includes being used to fashion propaganda medals during World War II.

An Extremely Fine example of a 1940 medal made from Meissen porcelain sold in Emporium Hamburg’s Nov. 13 and 14 auction, realizing €92 (about $114.59 U.S.), including the 15 percent buyer’s fee. 

The medal marks the capture of the French capital, Paris, on June 14, 1940. A Panzer tank on the reverse rises above the horizon. The Eiffel Tower, the most famous symbol and structure in the city, appears on the obverse. A black swastika adds contrast on an otherwise creamy-white medal. The small crossed swords on the reverse are the mark of the State Porcelain Factory in Meissen.

According to Karl Scheuch, who cataloged porcelain medals in a multivolume series titled Medaillen Aus Porzellan, the earliest porcelain medals were made in the early part of the 18th century, not long after porcelain was first developed. Meissen’s first porcelain medals followed later, around 1820, but became a regular part of the firm’s production only upon the bicentennial of Meissen in 1910, Scheuch wrote. 

Complete results are available at the firm’s website.

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