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Erinnerungsmedaille an den Thronanspruch,
a.k.a. Denkmünze auf den erstrittenen Thronanspruch

Commemorative medal of throne claim

Instituted on October 25, 1905 in conjunction with the enthronement of Count Leopold of Lippe-Biesterfeld (Leopold zur Lippe-Biesterfeld, 30.05.1871-30.12.1949) as a Prince of Lippe (Lippe-Detmold) Leopold IV. The last sovereign of the Principality of Lippe, he reigned from October 25, 1905 until November 12, 1918, when he was forced to renounce the throne.

Demise of incapable Prince Alexander (Karl Alexander zur Lippe, 16.01.1831-13.01.1905) who left no heir apparent to the throne was followed by an inheritance dispute between two lines – Lippe-Biesterfeld presented by Count Leopold and Schaumburg-Lippe presented by Prince Adolph. The issue was taken to the Imperial Court in Leipzig, and according to its ruling of October 25, 1905, the throne of Lippe, one of the smallest member states of the German Empire, was handed over to the Lippe-Biesterfeld line that until that point had no territorial sovereignty.

Commemorative medal was issued to all those participating in the court ruling that allowed Leopold gain power. Design of the medal was elaborated by the Dresden-based medallist Richard Diller.

An obverse had profiles of the Royal couple, Princess Bertha (Bertha von Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld, 25.10.1874-19.02.1919) and Prince Leopold facing left. Crucial date, “October 25, 1905” (“25.Oktober 1905”) was placed beneath in semicircle. An inscription “· Leopold IV, Prince of Lippe · Bertha, Princess of Lippe ·” was encircling an obverse above. Both inscriptions were made in capital letters.

A reverse showed traditional pentapetalous rose of Lippe flanked with two laurel branches. An inscription in capital letters “1897 Through Struggle to Victory 1905” (“1897 Durch Kampf zum Sieg 1905”) was running in semicircle above. It’s worth mentioning here that both dates were crucial for the history of Lippe and particularly Leopold IV. The latter being discussed above, the former related to the year his father Ernst II, Count of Lippe-Biesterfeld (Ernst Kasimir Friedrich Karl Eberhard, Graf zur Lippe-Biesterfeld, 09.06.1842-26.09.1904) was named regent of the principality of Lippe (July 17, 1897) by the ruling of the special commission. Initial of the designer, capital letter “D” was situated at the bottom of the reverse.

Commemorative medal was worn suspended from a 30 mm wide red silk ribbon with a central 14 mm wide yellow stripe.

A circular medal made of gilt bronze was 33,05 mm in diameter, 2,7 mm thick and weighed 14 g. Altogether 200 pieces were manufactured, 176 of which were presented between 1906 and 1907. 

Lippe Erinnerungs medaille 1