Catalog No. 1409
Stoneware, relief, 3.0L, figural inlaid lid.
“Wir Deutsche fürchten Gott, sonst Nicht’s auf der Welt.”
(We Germans fear God, otherwise nothing else in the world.)
Otto von Bismarck (1815-98) was known as the “Iron Chancellor” and is generally acknowledged as having been the prime mover in unifying the German states under a single ruler (Wilhelm I) and in the rise of Germany as a great European power.
Text is taken from a speech given by Bismarck to the German Reichstag on February 6, 1888.
There are no extant Merkelbach records that explain the somewhat cryptic scene depicted on the lid inlay (below right). However, it is almost certainly allegorical in nature and may have well been intended to illustrate Bismarck’s military leadership, providing the “sword” (i.e., military dominance) that led to unification of the German states and formation of the German empire (represented by the crown) under Wilhelm I following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71.
See also Nos. 1457 and 1458.