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Mathias GAASCH the “Feierstëppler”
The "Feierstëppler" set issued by P&T Luxembourg on May 9th/10th 2009 for the 70th anniversary of the death of Mathias GAASCH
The Feierstëppler The Feierstëppler - Witness of the artistic and industrial heritage of Luxembourg. Thousands of Luxembourg's 1 Franc coin were minted from 1924 onwards, before it was finally withdrawn from circulation on 31th of December 1991. The story of how this coin came about is fascinating. During the First World War, Auguste Tremont (1892-1980), one of Luxembourg's most significant painters and sculptors, left Paris for Luxembourg where he was asked by the management of the Aciérie de Dudelange to produce a series of paintings on the theme of steel workers at work. Mathias Gaasch, one of the firm's workers at the time, soon caught the painter's eye due to his powerful build. The artist decided to turn him into his model and that is how the Feierstëppler painting came about. Belgian artist Armand Bonnetain (1888-1973) drew inspiration from the work by Auguste Trémont in creating an engraving destined to be used on the coins. The Feierstëppler was also engraved on Luxembourg's two Francs coins, but only from 1924 on. To mark the 70th anniversary of the death of Mathias Gaasch, the stamps Directorate of P&T Luxembourg has issued two personalised stamps (www.mengpost.lu) . One of them shows a photagraph of this former steelworker and the other shows an identical replica of the engraving on a 1 Franc coin.