August Lehmensiek, Wilhelm I, Bismarck and Möltke


August Lehmensiek, Wilhelm I, Bismarck and Möltke August Lehmensiek, Wilhelm I, Bismarck and Möltke August Lehmensiek, Wilhelm I, Bismarck and Möltke
Price: € 8,500


Wilhelm I, Bismarck and Möltke, three large cast iron reliefs made by Carlshütte Delligsen.
The inscribed text on the Bismarck relief reads:
‘We Germans fear God and nothing else in the world’
(‘Wir Deutsche fürchten Gott, sonst nichts in der Welt’)

The reliefs, designed by August Lehmensiek, were made around 1890. They are historical pieces of art.

Advertisement published in ‘Die Fliegende Blättern’, 9 Juni 1895, Munich.

The Wilhelm I-, Bismarck- and Möltke reliefs are on the back all inscribed with: ‘Carlshütte, Delligsen’. The Bismarck relief is on the back also inscribed with ‘Gesetzl. geschützt.’ (‘Copyright by Law’). Especially the Bismarck relief was often illegally copied in the past.

Back of the Wilhelm I-relief:

Back of the Bismarck-relief:

Back of the Moltke-relief:

A cast of Moltke is in the possession of the ‘Rheinisches Eisenkunstguss Museum’ in Bendorf (below). The relief in the possession of the museum -depicting Von Moltke in uniform with Iron Cross-  is an aftercast, created in 1974.

The Three German key-players in the Battle of Sedan: Wilhelm I, Bismarck and Moltke.

Battle of Sedan
The Battle of Sedan was fought during the Franco-Prussian War from 1 to 2 September 1870. It resulted in the capture of Emperor Napoleon III and large numbers of his troops and for all intents and purposes decided the war in favour of Prussia and its allies, though fighting continued under a new French government. The 130,000 strong French Army of Châlons, commanded by Marshal Patrice de MacMahon and accompanied by Napoleon III, was attempting to lift the Siege of Metz, only to be caught by the Prussian Fourth Army and defeated at the Battle of Beaumont on 30 August. Commanded by Generalfeldmarschall Helmuth von Moltke and accompanied by Prussian King Wilhelm I and Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the Fourth Army and the Prussian Third Army encircled MacMahon’s army at Sedan in a gigantic battle of annihilation. Pulverized from all sides by superior German artillery firepower and with all breakout attempts defeated, the French Army of Châlons capitulated on 2 September; Napoleon III approached Moltke, Bismarck and King Wilhelm bearing a white flag, and surrendered himself and his entire army of 104,000 men. He was taken prisoner, while the French government in Paris continued the war and proclaimed a Government of National Defense on 4 September. The German armies besieged Paris on 19 September.

Wilhelm I

Wilhelm I, or Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig von Hohenzollern (1797-1888), was King of Prussia from 2 January 1861 and the first German Emperor from 18 January 1871 to his death, the first head of state of a united Germany. Under the leadership of William (and his Minister President Otto von Bismarck) Prussia achieved the unification of Germany and the establishment of the German Empire. Despite his long support of Bismarck as Minister President, William held strong reservations about some of Bismarck’s more reactionary policies, including his anti-Catholicism and tough handling of subordinates. In contrast to the domineering Bismarck, William was described as polite, gentlemanly and, while staunchly conservative, he was more open to certain classical liberal ideas than his grandson Wilhelm II.

‘We Germans fear God and nothing else in the world’
‘Wir Deutsche fürchten Gott, sonst nichts in der Welt’

Otto von Bismarck
Otto van Bismarck (1815 – 1898) was the main designer of the German Kaiser Reich which was founded in 1871 and ended in 1918. He is known as one of the greatest statesmen of the 19th century. He was Minister President of Preußen and from 1871 to 1890 Reichskanzler (Minister President) of the German Kaiser Reich. Bismarck won three wars against Denmark, France and Austria.

The text on the cast iron relief is as follows: ‘Wir Deutsche fürchten Gott, aber sonsst Nichts in der Welt’, meaning ‘We Germans fear God and nothing else in the world’. It comes from the speech of ‘Der Eiserne Kanzler’ (‘The Iron Chanceler’) which was given in the Reichtag on 6 February 1888. However, in the same speech Bismarck also stressed the importance of peace and the danger of conflicts: ‘Und die Gottesfurcht ist es schon, die uns den Frieden lieben und pflegen lässt’ (‘and already that godliness is it, which let us love and foster peace’).
Another famous statement of Bismarck was: ‘Not by speeches and votes of the majority, are the great questions of the time decided, but by iron and blood’ (‘Nicht durch Reden und Majoritätsbeschlüsse werden die großen Fragen der Zeit entschieden, sondern durch Eisen und Blut’).

Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke (1800 – 1891) was a famous German field marshal. He was the Chief of Staff of the Prussian Army for thirty years and he is regarded as one of the great strategists of the latter part of the 19th century. He is regarded as the creator of a new, more modern method of directing armies in the field; often described as embodying ‘Prussian military organization and tactical genius’ (his tactics were based on encirclement -inspired by Hannibal’s victory at Cannae – and the use of railways for lightning troop movements). The Generalfeldmarschall is often referred to as Moltke the Elder to distinguish him from his nephew Helmuth Johann Ludwig von Moltke, who commanded the German Army at the outbreak of World War I. Möltke played a significant role in the Second Schleswig War in 1864, planned and led the successful military operations during the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and led the Prussian armies in the Franco-Prussian War (1870 – 1871).

The surrender of Sedan, Napoleon III waving the white flag, September 2, 1870.

Foundry Carlshütte, Delligsen – 250 years of iron casting
These two reliefs of Bismarck and Moltke are originals made by Carlshütte Delligsen. The Friedrich-Carls-Hütte in Delligsen, a blast-furnace ironworks company, was founded in 1735. In 1872 its name was changed to Eisenwerke Carlshütte AG. From 1845 to 1895 Carlshütte had an artistic atelier attached, with designers like Ludwig Hage, Hermann Keck, August Koch and the last master designer, August Lehmensiek (1825%-1895). In 1895 the production of artwork (such as iron-reliefs, memorial tables, and iron-decoration for bridges, lamp posts, fences and heaters) stopped and the company focused itself mainly on engine parts and industrial mass production. After several mergers and takeovers, Carlshütte had 1,200 employees in 1944. In 1984 the Friedrich Carl Hütte GmbH Stahlgiesserei finally went bankrupt.

– condition : II   all three in perfect condition. Very fine and well preserved patina
– size : diameter 40 cm; thick 1 – 4 cm. The Wilhelm I-relief has a diameter of 49 cm.
– signed : Designed by August Lehmensiek*.  Back: ‘Carlshütte Delligsen’ and ‘Gesetzl. geschützt’
– type : cast iron, black
– misc. : professional cleaned/restored and treated with a preserve

* We also have an extremely rare set of the reliefs on offer (Bismarck and Möltke), signed by August Lehmensiek and executed in bronze/iron.

‘Bismarck Shield’ (‘Bismarck mit Siegerkranze’), cast by Carlshütte Delligsen, measuring 78 x 76 cm. Designer: August Lehmensiek. This shield is located in the Hindenburgstrasse in Hahnenklee, a borough of the city of Goslar, in the German state of the Lower Saxony. This memorial was revealed in 1907 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Hahnenklee. This Bismarck-shield bears the text: ‘Wir Deutschen fürchten Gott, Sonnst nichts in der Welt’. The oak tree was planted in 1895 to honor Bismarck.

After August Lehmensiek. Bismarck-relief on the medieval Bismarckbrücke in Dresden-Löbtau (in 1902 named Bismarck Bridge, also named Weißeritzbrücke or Chausseebrücke). In 1916 a Bismarck Bust was placed on the bridge, which disappeared in 1945. In 1998 a new Bismarck relief, created by the foundry ‘Kunstgiesserei Lauchhammer’ replaced the bust. Just like the relief created in 2008 by Kunstgiesserei Lauchhammer, this relief is a copy of the Lehmensiek design. Foto 2014.

After August Lehmensiek. Bismarckturm (‘Bismarck-Tower’), Dresden-Cossebaude, inaugurated 1913. The bronze relief of 60 x 45 cm was created in 2008 by the foundry ‘Kunstgiesserie Lauchhammer’, and was based on ‘historical models’. The tekst reads: ‘OTTO FÜRST VON BISMARCK  * 01. APRIL 1815 + 30. JULI 1898’.

‘We Germans fear God and nothing else in the world’
‘Bismarck bunker’, next to Bois de Hirtzbach, located in Département du Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France. ‘Wir Deutschen fürchten Gott, sonnst nichts in der Welt’.

‘We Germans fear God and nothing else in the world’
Ernst Wenck, ‘Plaque of Bismarck’. Bronze plaque above the entrance of the Bismarck Tower near Eschwege. This monument, 26 meters high and revealed in 1903, is located on the Grossen leuchtberg (318 meters) in North Hesse. The tekst reads: ‘Wir Deutschen fürchten Gott sonst nichts in der Welt’.

‘We Germans fear God and nothing else in the world’
Engraved in the wall of the Bismarck Tower in Ansbach (1903): ‘Wir Deutschen fürchten Gott, sonnst nichts auf der Welt‘.

Carlshütte Delligsen, eight magnificant lampposts and two flag masts on the Lombardsbrücke in Hamburg. The cast iron art works are beautiful adorned with figures of swans, seagulls, angels and the Coat of Arms of Hamburg.
Designed by Carl Börner. Cast by Carlshütte Delligsen in 1870. Height 3,725 meter, ex base.


Carlshütte Delligsen, ‘Quadriga’, after the original model by Ernst Rietschel (1804 – 1861). Created by the Carlshütte Delligsen; in fact the quadriga was created by its subsidiary since 1890, the Wilhelmshütte in Bockenem, with the assistence of several employees of the Carlshütte. The monumental hammered-copper sculpture was created exactly after the plaster model from 1856/58 by Ernst Rietschel, which was re-discovered in 1999 in the ‘Skupturensammlung Albertinum’ in Dresden. This plaster model also functioned as the model for the reconstructed bronze quadriga (done in 2008, and three times larger) on top of the Braunschweiger Castlle, Europe’s largest quadriga.
Commissioned in 1890/93 by the ‘Braunschweiger Handwerkerschaft des Metallgewerbes‘ for The Chicago World’s Fair Exhibition, 1893. The art work was bought in 1910 by the industrialist Fritz Züchner in Seesen, Lower Saxony; Züchner intended in 1914 at the beginning of WWI to put the quadriga on top of a planned victory gate in Seesen. Finally the quadriga was, given as a wedding present, placed on the roof of the Züchner-villa in Seesen (from 1922 – 2018). Nowadays the monumental sculpture is displayed in the ‘Schlossmuseum Braunschweig‘.

Plaque to commemorate the 100th birthday of Kaiser Wilhelm I, 22. March 1897 (‘Erinnerungsplakette hundertjähriges Jubiläumsfeier 22. März 1897’). Cast by Carlshütte Delligsen. Located at the graveyard of Delligsen. Diameter 49 cm. Depicted in ‘Künstlerischer Eisenguss, -Eisenwerk Carlshütte Delligsen’; Photo F. Heise, 2007.

August Lehmensiek. Photo: Heimat-Verein Delligsen e.V.

August Lehmensiek
August Lehmensiek was a German designer who lived in Lower Saxony in the City of Alfeld (next to Delligsen). From 1876 to 1895 he worked as Master at the design atelier of Carlshütte Delligsen.
His predecessors at Carlshütte Delligsen include Ludwig Hage, Herman Keck and August Koch. In the book ‘Künstlerischer Eisenguss, Eisenwerk Carlshütte Delligsen’, published in 2010, August Lehmensiek is mentioned on page 34 and 35. Here  we can also read an original letter of recommendation for August Lehmensiek, dated 1876, issued by Carlshütte Delligsen: ‘Wir bescheinigen hiermit den August Lehmensiek aus Wispenstein b/Alfeld, dass er vom Jahre 1876 ab auf unsere Abteilung Delligsen als Modelleur u. Vorsteher der Modellierwerkstatt thätig ist u. geben ihm sehr gern das Zeugnis, dass wir mit seinen Leistungen in hohen Grade zufrieden sind. Er ist nicht bloss befähigt nach gegebenen Entwürfen Modelle auszuführen, sondern er ist auch im Stande, selbst Entwürfe in den verschiedenen Stylarten anzufertigen, welche einen guten Geschmack u. hervorragende künstleriche Anlagen verrathen. Zahlreiche Ausführungen der Carlshütte in Ofen- und Kunstguss geben davon Zeugnis.’