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From: Verne R. Walrafen [mailto:walrafen@*****.com]
Sent: Sunday, September 25, 2011 3:36 PM
To: 'GregoryGBrunk.Num@*****.com'
Subject: Coins Countermarked with Political Messages and Related Pieces
Re: Applied Hats ~ p.142 of “NI Bulletin” Volume 46 Nos. 9 / 10
   There you have fourteen photos with captions and three paragraphs discussing the German coinage specimens shown with applied hats.
   I found these specimens to be quite intriguing and discussion of them most interesting. They are similar in their own way to the altered buffalo nickels (1913-1938) of our own U.S. history. I have even seen applied hats on them upon occasion... I have two specimens in my collection which I refer to as Appliqué pieces.
   Your specimens are actually more interesting than mine because you have a logical story to explain their creation and not merely the whim of their creators.

Applied Hats

Excerpt captured from “NI Bulletin” Vol. 46 Nos. 9 / 10

Coins Countermarked with Political Messages and Related Pieces

−by Gregory G. Brunk, NI#749

Premissions granted by: Numismatics International and Gregory G. Brunk
   While it seems likely that other German satirical countermarks exist, so far none have been reported. Nevertheless, quite a few pre-war German three and five marks have a hat, usually a business hat soldered over the monarch's head. Most of them are coins of Emperor William II, but occasionally hats appear on rulers of the German states. Some coins of William II also are engraved with a hat, and one of them is dated. The engraved hat on a 1911 three marks reads RAUS MIT DER 1918 and refers to the emperor's abdication in 1918.
   All of the hats are slightly different and were made individually. Dickerson (1978) thought they are funeral hats, and the coins symbolized the end of the German Empire and its replacement by a republic. NI member Reinhold Jordan tells me they probably refer to the phrase seinen hut nehmen, which means “To take one's hat.” Until the 1950s, upper class males wore hats in public, and establishments would have a check room for your coat and hat. So “To take one's hat” meant that a person was going to leave, and in politics it meant resignation or abdication. Indeed, a close inspection of German coins with applied hats revealed that one also has an applied overcoat, and so this interpretation seems to be correct.
   What was puzzling to me is why no German coins are known where the ruler's bust is defaced, which would be expected if the purpose of the hats was to attack William II and the princes before the fall of the German Empire at the end of the First World War. Similar pieces with hats also exist for South Africa, and at least one coin of President Paul Krueger has been looped so it could be worn as a medal or attached to a watch chain. Two of the pieces noted below also have hats that clearly are not business hats. So it seems likely these German coins with applied hats were made during the 1920s by jewelers and sold as souvenirs of “The Good Old Days.” If this hypothesis is correct, a reader might be able to find an advertisement for such coins in German newspapers or coin publications of the twenties.

Various style hats on three mark coins of Emperor William II

Five Mark
Slightly different style business hats on five mark coins of William II

Very large hat
with overcoat

Three Marks of William II
1913, with hunting cap

With 1918 abdication

Three Mark
Bavaria 1914 three mark of Ludwig III with business hat

Three Mark
Saxon 1910 three mark of Frederick August III
With what certainly is not a funeral hat!

Five Mark
A rare 1888 Prussia five mark of William II with a business hat