1929, Germany (Weimar Rep.). Silver 5 Mark “Gotthold Lessing” Coin. PCGS MS-63!
Mint Year: 1929 Reference: KM-61. Mint Place: Hamburg (J) Condition: Certified and graded by PCGS as MS-63! Denomination: 5 Mark - 300th Birth Anniversary of Gotthold Lessing! Material: Silver (.500) Diameter: 37mm Weight: 25gm
Obverse: Head of Gotthold Lessing left, flanked by anniversary dates (1729-1929). Inscription bleow and mint initial (J) below. Legend: GOTH. EPHRAIM LESSING / J Reverse:Heraldic eagle of Germany. Legend: DEUTSCHES REICH . 5 REICHSMARK .
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (22 January 1729 – 15 February 1781) was a German writer, philosopher, dramatist, publicist and art critic, and one of the most outstanding representatives of the Enlightenment era. His plays and theoretical writings substantially influenced the development of German literature. He is widely considered by theatre historians to be the first dramaturg.
Lessing was born in Kamenz, a small town in Saxony. His father was a clergyman and the author of theological writings. After visiting Latin School in Kamenz (from 1737 onwards) and the Fürstenschule St. Afra in Meissen (from 1741 onwards) he studied theology and medicine in Leipzig (1746–1748).
From 1748 to 1760 he lived in Leipzig and Berlin and worked as reviewer and editor for, amongst others, the Vossische Zeitung. In 1752 he took his Master’s degree in Wittenberg. From 1760 to 1765 he worked in Breslau (now Wrocław) as secretary to General Tauentzien. In 1765 he returned to Berlin, only to leave again in 1767 to work for three years as a dramaturg and adviser at the Hamburg National Theatre (the Hamburgische Entreprise), whose main backer was Abel Seyler. There he met Eva König, his future wife. His work in Hamburg led to his pioneering Hamburgische Dramaturgie.
In 1770 Lessing became librarian at the ducal library, now the Herzog August Library (Herzog-August-Bibliothek, Bibliotheca Augusta), in Wolfenbüttel. His tenure there was energetic, if interrupted by many journeys. In 1775, for example, he journeyed to Italy accompanying Prince Leopold.
On 14 October 1771 Lessing was initiated into Freemasonry in the lodge “Zu den drei Goldenen Rosen” in Hamburg.
In 1776 he married Eva König, who was then a widow, in Jork (near Hamburg). She died in 1778 after giving birth to a short-lived son. On 15 February 1781, Lessing, aged 52, died during a visit to the wine dealer Angott in Brunswick.
Lessing was also famous for his friendship with Jewish-German philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. A recent biography of Mendelssohn’s grandson, Felix, describes their friendship as one of the most “illuminating metaphors [for] the clarion call of the Enlightenment for religious tolerance”.