A Prussian 25th Anniversary German Emperor at Versailles Medal 1871-1896
A Prussian 25th Anniversary German Emperor at Versailles Medal 1871-1896 - Gold-coloured gilt on copper, obverse illustrating the right-facing bust of Wilhelm I, inscribed "WILHELM I" at the left and "DEUTSCHER KAISER" at the right, with a branch containing three oak leaves and two acorns below the bust, reverse illustrating the Prussian Imperial eagle with arrows in its talons, resting upon a bank of clouds, the Imperial crown with ribbon banner fronting a sun with emanating rays and dated "1871-1896" above, inscribed "HAUPTQUARTIER VERSAILLES 18. JANUAR" with the signtaure of Wilhelm I below, surrounded by the inscription "UNS ABER UND UNSERN NACHFOLGERN AN DER KAISERKRONE WOLLE GOTT VERLEIHEN, ALLZEIT MEHRER DES DEUTSCHEN REICHES ZU SEIN, NICHT AN KREIGERISCHEN EROBERUNGEN, SONDERN AN GÜTERN UND GABEN DES FRIEDENS, AUF DEM GEBIETE NATIONALER WOHLFAHRT, UND GESITTUNG.", an Iron Cross at the base flanked by branches of oak leaves and acorns, maker marked "W.M. & F.W. STUTTG." below the Iron Cross, 74.7 mm, very light contact, extremely fine. Footnote: During the Franco-Prussian War, on January 18, 1871, in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles Palace, William was proclaimed German Emperor. The title "German Emperor" was carefully chosen by Bismarck after discussion until (and after) the day of the proclamation. William accepted this title grudgingly as he would have preferred "Emperor of Germany" which, however, was unacceptable to the federated monarchs, and would also have signalled a claim to lands outside his realm (Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg etc.). The title "Emperor of the Germans", as proposed in 1848, was ruled out as he considered himself chosen "by the grace of God", not by the people as in a republic. William's brother Frederick William IV had been elected Emperor of the Germans by the Frankfurt National Assembly on March 28, 1849, but then refused the crown already on April 3, 1849, purportedly saying that he would not accept "a crown from the gutter". The ceremony was attended by 600 officers and all the German princes, except Louis II of Bavaria.