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Gies, Ludwig, 250 Year Anniversary of Merck Pharmaceutical, Darmstadt, 1918, Reverse

113 mm x 89 mm, 233 g

Ernsting #WVZ 171

An exceedingly rare work by Ludwig Gies, one of the finest of the Munich Medallists. This was a private pattern and model for the much smaller 49 mm x 38 mm production issue. According to Bernd Ernsting in his Ludwig Gies, the reference work on Gies' work, there were only three made. One other medal of this size was sold on Ebay on 12 July 2009, so the medal may or may not be that rare.

This is one of Gies' few early private commissions and was designed for the 250th anniversary of the pharmaceutical giant, Merck. Beautiful detail and in Gies' inimitable style, the obverse shows the apothecary Fredrick Merck in his lab in 1668. Notice the detail - the distillation apparatus, the scales, and more bizarrely, the cat in the lower fore and the scorpion dangling from a bracket. Reverse shows the Merck industrial plant 250 years later with patron saint in fore.

According to Merck's website "...the history of Merck & Co., Inc. can be traced back to Darmstadt, Germany, in 1668 when an apothecarty named Frederic Jacob Merck opened a chemical firm. In 1891, George Merck began to establish his roots in the United States and set up Merck & Co., Inc. in New York, U.S.A. Originally started off as a fine chemicals suppliers, Merck & Co., Inc. began its pharmaceutical research in the early 1930's. The merger with Sharp & Dohme to create Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) in 1953 established a solid foundation for a fully integrated, multi-national producer and distributor of pharmaceutical products..."

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