Despite being heavily worn this tiny little ten pfennig coin is among the first minted in the reign of Wilhelm II the Kaiser of Germany who came to power in 1888.
It has the empire eagle in the first model design which was smaller and did not extend to the rim of the coin.
If you are looking to fill in the gaps in your collection then here is a great opportunity to do so.
German Empire 1871-1918
Emperor Wilhelm II. 5 June 1888 – 9 November 1918
Reverse: Eagle of Empire (1st Model)
Obverse: Value at 10 Pfennig
Diameter: 21 mm
Weight: 4 g
Catalogue: Jaeger 4
At the time Wilhelm II came to power it was a period of great upheaval. His father Frederick III had held power for only 99 days before succumbing to throat cancer.
Otto von Bismarck had been holding together an extremely fragile peace between Russia, France and Germany and when he was dismissed by Wilhelm II he was replaced as Chancellor by Leo von Caprivi. Together Wilhelm and Leo embarked on the instigation of a, “New Course”, which essentially would bring the peace amongst these countries to an end as military spending and an arms build up began under his new reign. Key too this was the building of Wilhelm’s Imperial Navy with enough ships being built to rival Great Britain.
Bismarck was never able to see eye to eye with Wilhelm as he was in favor of a peaceful foreign policy. Bismarck had even instigated social reforms for workers in Germany which Wilhelm saw as frivolous. Bismarck remained throughout the remainder of his days as a severe critic of Wilhelm’s policies.