Facebook

The comet of the Cubasch twins 1890

In 1890 there was no naked eye comet visible on the sky. Why did Mr. Cubash choose a comet as a design to the medal that celebrated the birth of his twins?

On the obverse the Cubasch twins, Wilhem and Matilde Cubasch, their names above, below their birthday October 21, 1890 and birthplace city Wien is visible. Below the twins is the sign of medalist JS, that is Johann Schwerdtner.  On the reverse a comet is traveling up, legend in the center:  "ERINNERUNG AN DAS KOMETEN JAHR 1890" i. e. remembering the comet year 1890. Legend around: "DIE THEILNEHMER DES CLUBS D. M. U. M. FR. DEM LIEBEN GENOSSEN" means "Members of the Club of Friends of the Coins and Medals to their loved mate" The issuer is marked by D. M. U. M. FR. that is Club der Münz- und Medaillenfreunde. A description article appeared on this medal (Die Münze, August, 1981 p.31), but that spells the name mistakenly to Gubasch, and mentions him to a numismatist in Vienna. Really there lived in Vienna a numismatist and coin vendor named Heinrich Cubasch (1849–1904), who might be the father of the twins and procurer of the medal. But what comet did give the idea to this design?

comet 1890 obverse

 comet 1890 reverse

 The following comets were visible in 1890:

  • 6P/d'Arrest
  • 113P/1890 W1 (Spitaler)
  • C/1889 X1 (Borrelly)
  • C/1890 F1 (Brooks)
  • C/1890 O1 (Coggia)
  • C/1890 O2 (Denning)
  • C/1890 V1 (Zona)

None of the comets listed here were visible by the naked eye, or might have counted on great public interest. The only glue might be, that Rudolf Ferdinand Spitaler discovered a comet in Vienna at 17, November in the same year, that was named after him. Except the close dates and the same city we have no other idea that the birth of the twins and the discovery of the comet has any connection. We could not find out whether the discoverer and the happy father knew each other. Hopefully further investigations will give answer for this extraordinary medal design.