Obverse. Photo © Heritage Auctions
  • 5 Mark 1891-1913, KM# 915, Bavaria, Otto
  • 5 Mark 1891-1913, KM# 915, Bavaria, Otto

The Kingdom of Bavaria was a German state that succeeded the former Electorate of Bavaria in 1805 and continued to exist until 1918. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian IV Joseph of the House of Wittelsbach became the first King of Bavaria in 1805 as Maximilian I Joseph. The crown would go on being held by the Wittelsbachs until the kingdom came to an end in 1918. Most of Bavaria's present-day borders were established after 1814 with the Treaty of Paris, in which Bavaria ceded Tyrol and Vorarlberg to the Austrian Empire while receiving Aschaffenburg and Würzburg. With the unification of Germany into the German Empire in 1871, the kingdom became a state of the new Empire and was second in size, power, and wealth only to the leading state, the Kingdom of Prussia. Since the end of the kingdom and the empire in 1918, Bavaria has remained part of Germany.


Head of the King of Bavaria Otto left. Mint mark of the Munich mint (D) under the portrait.

Otto (27 April 1848 – 11 October 1916), was King of Bavaria from 1886 to 1913. He became King on 13 June 1886. He was however, unable to rule. The official explanation was that the King is melancholic. The proclamation of his inauguration was read to him at Fürstenried castle the next day, but he failed to understand it.

His uncle, Luitpold kept his role as Prince Regent until he died in 1912 and was succeeded by his son Ludwig, who was Otto's first cousin. By then, it had been obvious for some time that Otto would never be mentally capable of actively reigning. Almost as soon as Ludwig became regent, elements in the press and larger society clamoured for Ludwig to become king in his own right. Accordingly, on 4 November 1913 the constitution of Bavaria was amended on 4 November 1913 to include a clause specifying that if a regency for reasons of incapacity lasted for ten years with no expectation that the King would ever be able to reign, the Regent could end the regency, depose the King and assume the crown himself with the assent of the legislature. The following day, Prince Regent Ludwig ended the regency and proclaimed his own reign as Ludwig III. The parliament assented on 6 November, and Ludwig III took the constitutional oath on 8 November. King Otto was permitted to retain his title and honours for life.



Crowned imperial German eagle. The design of the eagle was altered at least twice during the German Empire (1871–1918). It shows the imperial eagle, a comparatively realistic black eagle, with the German State Crown. In contrast to its predecessor, the eagle of the German Confederation, it has only one head, symbolising that important parts of the old empire, Austria and Bohemia, were not part of this new empire.



Gott mit uns ("God with us") is a phrase commonly used on armour in the German military from the German Empire to the end of the Third Reich, although its historical origins are far older. It was used for the first time in German by the Teutonic Order. In the 17th century, the phrase Gott mit uns was used as a 'field word', a means of recognition akin to a password, by the army of Gustavus Adolphus at the battles of Breitenfeld (1631), Lützen (1632) and Wittstock (1636) in the Thirty Years' War. In 1701, Frederick I of Prussia changed his coat of arms as Prince-Elector of Brandenburg. The electoral scepter had its own shield under the electoral cap. Below, the motto Gott mit uns appeared on the pedestal.


Material Silver
Fineness 0.900
Weight 27.7 g
Diameter 38 mm
Thickness 2.7 mm
Shape round
Alignment -
Bavarian Central Mint (D)

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