Printed Auction 38 Aftersale Lot 330

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Printed Auction 38 Aftersale Lot 330

ENGLAND. Victoria. 1837-1901. AR medal. 38 mm. Naval Review at Spithead. 1889. Bust of Wilhelm II (grandson of Queen Victoria) right, in uniform and wearing a cocked hat; WILLAIM II EMP. OF GERMANY ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET around / A dramatic and detailed view of the fleet at Spithead, the arms of Germany and Britain below; THE NAVAL REVIEW AT SPITHEAD 5TH AUGUST 1889. Eimer 1750 (event only). BHM 3369. PCGS SP65; pleasantly toned with the reverse toning particularly attractive. A comparable piece apparently without the exceptional toning sold in Künker Auction 274 in 2016 for $1111 U.S.

Spithead is a protected anchorage southwest of Portsmouth. The tradition of an occasional Fleet Review of the Royal Navy began in the 15th century. Churchill's summary of this impulsive and tempestuous leader whose reign began in 1888 points to an ironic twist to this military review: "Not until Kaiser William II had dismissed the great Chancellor (Bismarck) and plunged into provocative policies did Britain fully awake to the Teutonic menace." (History, vol. 4. p 282). The "menace" burst upon the world a mere 25 years later.


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