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Napoleon I, Emperor of France

 The Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) involved Napoleon's France and a shifting set of European allies and opposing coalitions. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionized European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to the application of modern mass conscription. French power rose quickly, conquering most of Europe, but collapsed rapidly after France's disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812. Napoleon's empire ultimately suffered complete military defeat, resulting in the Bourbon monarchy in France.


Battle of Waterloo 1815



The Victorian era of the United Kingdom marked the height of the British Industrial Revolution and the apex of the British Empire. The period is often characterized as a long period of peace and economic, colonial, and industrial consolidation, temporarily disrupted by the Crimean War, although Britain was at war every year during this period.

200px-Queen_Victoria_1887 Queen Victoria (1837-1901)250px-IGI_british_indian_empire1909reducedBritish Indian Empire

Towards the end of the century, the policies of New Imperialism led to increasing colonial conflicts and eventually the Anglo-Zanzibar War and the Boer War. The middle of the century saw The Great Exhibition of 1851, the first World's Fair and showcased the greatest innovations of the century. At its centre was the Chrystal Palace, an enormous, modular glass and iron structure - the first of its kind. In May of 1857, the Indian Mutiny, a widespread revolt in India against the rule of the British East Indie Company, was sparked by sepoys (native Indian soldiers) in the Company's army. The rebellion, involving not just sepoys but many sectors of the Indian population as well, was largely quashed within a year. In response to the Mutiny, the East India Company was abolished in August 1858 and India came under the direct rule of the British Crown, beginning the period of the British Raj. The largest Empire in the history of mankind was born.



Notgeld (German for "Emergency Money" or "necessity money"). During the early 20th century special money was issued in several countries, but primarily in Germany and Austria, to deal with economic crisis situations. There was a shortage of small change, due to the need for metal to be used for the war effort rather than for coinage. This emergency money was not issued by the central bank (Recihsbank) but by various other institutions, e.g. town savings banks (German: "Sparkasse"), municipalities, private and state-owned firms. It was therefore not legal tender, but rather a mutually-accepted means of payment in a particular locale or site.

 Notgeld_paper Notgeld Banknote notgeld_coinNotgeld coin

Notgeld was mainly issued in the form of banknotes. Sometimes other forms were used, as well: coins, leather, silk, linen, encased stamps, aluminium foil, coal and porcelain. There are also reports of elemental sulfur being used, as well as all sorts of re-used paper and carton material (e.g. playing cards) 


     COINS OF GORDIAN III (225-244 AD)

Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius (January 20, 225 – February 11, 244), known as Gordian III, was Roman Emperor from AD 238 to 244. Gordian was the son of Antonia Gordiana and his father was an unnamed Roman Senator who died before 238. Antonia Gordiana was the daughter of Emperor Gordian I and younger sister of Emperor Gordian II. His younger sister was called Gordiana. Very little is known on his early life before becoming Roman Emperor. Gordian had assumed the name of his maternal grandfather in AD 238.

Gordian III

Sestertius of GORDIAN III (225-244 AD)

Due to Gordian's age, the imperial government was surrendered to the aristocratic families, who controlled the affairs of Rome through the senate. In AD 240, Sabinianus revolted in the African province, but the situation was dealt with quickly. In AD 241, Gordian was married to Furia Sabinia Tranquillina, daughter of the newly appointed praetorian prefect, Timesitheus. As chief of the Praetorian guard and father in law of the emperor, Timesitheus quickly became the de facto ruler of the Roman empire.  In the 3rd century, the Roman frontiers weakened against the Germanic tribes across the Rhine and Danube, and the Sassanid kingdom across the Euphrates increased its own attacks. When the Persians under Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia, the young emperor opened the doors of the Temple of Janus for the last time in Roman history, and sent a huge army to the East. The Sassanids were driven back over the Euphrates and defeated in the Battle of Resaena (AD 243). The campaign was a success and Gordian, who had joined the army, was planning an invasion of the enemy's territory, when his father-in-law died in unclear circumstances. Without Timesitheus, the campaign, and the emperor's security, were at risk.

Philip Arabs

Sestertius of Philip the Arab (AD 244-249)

Marcus Julius Philippus, also known as Philip the Arab, stepped in at this moment as the new Praetorian Prefect and the campaign proceeded. In the beginning of AD 244, the Persians counter-attacked. Persian sources claim that a battle was fought (Battle of Misiche) near modern Fallujah (Iraq) and resulted in a major Roman defeat and the death of Gordian III. Roman sources do not mention this battle and suggest that Gordian died far away, upstream of the Euphrates. Although ancient sources often described Philip, who succeeded Gordian as emperor, as having murdered Gordian at Zaitha (Qalat es Salihiyah), the cause of Gordian's death is unknown.

Gordian's youth and good nature, along with the deaths of his grandfather and uncle and his own tragic fate at the hands of another usurper, granted him the everlasting esteem of the Romans. Despite the opposition of the new emperor, Gordian was deified by the Senate after his death, in order to appease the population and avoid riots.



The Teutonic Order is a predominantly German Roman Catholic religious order based in Vienna, Austria. Its members have commonly been known as the Teutonic Knights, since it was a crusading military order during the Middle Ages and much of the modern era.

Formed at the end of the 12th century in Acre, Palestine, the medieval Order played an important role in Outremer, controlling the port tolls of Acre. After Christian forces were defeated in the Middle East, the Order moved to Transylvania in 1211 to help defend Hungary against the Cumans. They were expelled in 1225 after allegedly attempting to place themselves under Papal instead of Hungarian sovereignty. 


Schilling under Grandmaster KONRAD III von JUNGINGEN (1393-1407)

Following the Golden Bull of Rimini, Grand Master Hermann von Salza and Duke Konrad I of Masovia made a joint invasion of Prussia in 1230 to Christianise the Baltic Old Prussians in the Northern Crusades. The knights were then accused of cheating Polish rule and creating an independent monastic state. The Order lost its main purpose in Europe, when the neighbouring country of Lithuania accepted Christianity. Once established in Prussia, the Order became involved in campaigns against its Christian neighbours, the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Novgorod Republic (after assimilating the Livonian Order). The Teutonic Knights had a strong urban economy, hired mercenaries from throughout Europe to augment their feudal levies, and became a naval power in the Baltic Sea.


3 Kreuzer 1668 under Grandmaster JOHANN CASPAR von AMPRINGEN (1664-84)

In 1410, a Polish-Lithuanian army decisively defeated the Order and broke its military power at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg). The Order steadily declined until 1525 when Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg resigned and converted to Lutheranism to become Duke of Prussia. The Grand Masters continued to preside over the Order's considerable holdings in Germany and elsewhere until 1809, when Napoleon Bonaparte ordered its dissolution and the Order lost its last secular holdings. The Order continued to exist, headed by Habsburgs through World War I, and today operates primarily with charitable aims in Central Europe.



World War I, also known as the First World War and the Great War, was a global military conflict which took place primarily in Europe from 1914 to 1918. Over 40 million casualties resulted, including approximately 20 million military and civilian deaths. Over 60 million European soldiers were mobilized from 1914 to 1918. The immediate cause of the war was the June 28th, 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian  throne, by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb citizen of Austria-Hungary and member of the Black Hand organization. The retaliation by Austria-Hungary against Serbia activated a series of alliances that set off a chain reaction of war declarations. Within a month, much of Europe was in a state of open warfare.


The typical pictures of the Great War: Clockwise from top: Trenches on the Western Front; a British Mark IV tank crossing a trench; Royal Navy battleship HMS Irresistible sinking after striking a mine at the Battle of the Dardanelles; a Vickers machine gun crew with gas mask, and German Albatros D.III biplanes.

The war was propagated by two major alliances. The Entente Powers initially consisted of France, the United KingdomRussia, and their associated empires and dependencies. Numerous other states joined these allies, most notably Italy in April 1915, and the USA in April 1917. The Central Powers, so named because of their central location on the European continent, initially consisted of  Germany and Austria-Hungary and their associated empires. The Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in October 1914, followed a year later by Bulgaria. By the conclusion of the war, only The Netherlands, Switzerland, SpainSwedenNorway and Denmark remained officially neutral among the European countries, though many of those provided financial and material support to one side or the other.


The war was ended by several treaties, most notably the Treaty of Versailles, signed on June 28th, 1919, though the Allied powers had an armistice with Germany in place since November 11th, 1918. One of the most striking results of the war was a large redrawing of the map of Europe. All of the Central Powers lost territory, and many new nations were created. The German Empire lost its colonial possessions and was saddled with accepting blame for the war, as well as paying punitive reparations for it.

WW1_tank British Tank WW1_plakat Recruiting poster

The Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires were completely dissolved. Austria-Hungary was carved up into several successor states including Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. The Ottoman Empire disintegrated, and much of its non-Anatolian territory was awarded as protectorates of various Allied powers, while the remaining Turkish core was reorganized as the Republic of Turkey. The Russian Empire, which had withdrawn from the war in 1917, lost much of its western frontier as the newly independent nations of Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland were carved from it. After the war, the League of Nations was created as an international organization designed to avoid future wars by giving nations a means of solving their differences diplomatically. World War I marked the end of the world order which had existed after the Napoleonic Wars, and was an important factor in the outbreak of the World War II.