The Anhalt-Köthen Medal for Merit, Attachment and Loyalty was founded by Duke Heinrich of Anhalt-Köthen (reigned from 1830 to 1847), in the year 1835, for outstanding merit of subaltern officials. After the founding of the House Order of Albert the Bear, and its Merit Medal, in the year 1836, the medals which were awarded in gold and in silver, were awarded only for 50 years of completed service. The gold medal was awarded to higher-ranking officials, and the silver medal was awarded to lower-ranking officials.
The medals by Gottfried Loos, Berlin were delivered according to contract by July 12, 1835. A total of 12 gold medals and 100 silver medals were delivered. Gottfried Loos was born in 1773 in Berlin. In 1792 he was an engraver, and on January 1, 1813 he became a General-Mint Warden. He was later Royal Mint Council of the Berlin Main Mint, and after 1821 he led the medal mint founded by his deceased father Daniel Friedrich Loos. Gottfried Loos died in 1843.
The medals were awarded from 1835 until 1847. Prior to the merger of the Duchy of Anhalt-Köthen and Anhalt-Dessau in the year 1847, only 4 gold medals and 12 silver medals were awarded. Considering the number of medals known to have been struck, and the number of medals later awarded, any surviving examples should be considered rare.
Featured below is an example of a silver medal that was awarded.
The obverse design of the medals consists of a wreath of double oak-leaf branches bound at the bottom with a ribbon, which surround a letter “H” (for Duke Heinrich of Anhalt-Köthen) which is under a lined Ducal Crown.
The reverse design of the medals consists of the Anhalt Coat of Arms surmounted by a lined Ducal Crown surrounded by the inscription: “FUER VERDIENST ANHAENGLICHKEIT U. TREUE” (For Merit, Attachment and Loyalty).
The medals have a small loop soldered to the edge at the top. Through this loop passes a fused ribbon ring. The silk ribbon is 33 mm wide with two dark-green side-stripes which are each 3.5mm wide. The outer edges of the dark-green stripes are 2mm from the edges of the ribbon. The section of original ribbon on this example is approximately 7 cm long and is sewn at the top.
The medals are approximately 30 mm in diameter. The weight for the gold medal is listed as 4 Ducats which equals approximately 13.6 g. The weight for the silver medal is approximately 10 g.
Thank you for your interest regarding this rare award. I wish to thank Sascha Wöschler of Karlsruhe, Germany for his assistance in the preparation of this article. Comments are welcome.
Hessenthal, Waldemar Hesse Edlen von und Schreiber, Georg. Die tragbaren Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Reiches. Verlag Uniformen-Markt Otto Dietrich. Berlin, 1940.
Heyden, Hermann von. Ehren-Zeichen (Kriegs-Denkzeichen, Verdienst- und Dienstalters-Zeichen) der erloschenen und blühen- den Staaten Deutschlands und Österreich-Ungarns. Kommissions-Verlag von Brückner & Renner, Herzogl. Hofbuchhandlung. Meiningen, 1897.