Medal, Kaiser Wilhelm I Centenary (1897)

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A German Kaiser Wilhelm I Centenary Medal. The circular gilt brass medal features a right facing head and shoulders profile of Kaiser Wilhelm I in military uniform on the obverse. " WILHELM / DER / GROSSE / DEUTSCHER / KAISER / KOENIG / von / PREUSSEN " is marked around the profile. " ZUM ANDENKEN / AN DEN / HUNDERSTEN GEBURTSTAG / DES GROSSEN KAISERS / WILHELM I. 1797 - 22 MAERZ -1897 " is marked on the reverse above a cushion bearing the Prussian crown and orb imposed on a sword, a laurel branch to the left, an oak branch to the right. The medal is attached to a yellow ribbon by a simple suspension ring.
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These types of medals were "awarded on 22 March 1897, the hundredth birthday of Kaiser Wilhelm I, to all military on active service and to the veterans of the wars of 1864, 1866 and 1870. It was made from Danish, Austrian and French cannon captured in those wars, designed by the artist Walter Schott (1861-1938) and produced by the Berlin medallists Firma L. Ostermann, founded in 1812 by Gottfried Bernhard Loos (1774-1843). Kaiser Wilhelm I (1797-1888) became King of Prussia in 1861 and Emperor of a united Germany on 18 January 1871. His reign was most notable for the unification of Germany under the guidance of Otto von Bismarck and its rapid industrial and economic progress." Source: . This medal was donated to Taranaki Museum as part of a large collection made by prominent south Taranaki lawyer John Houston.
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