Mahler, Gustav. (1860–1911) [Rothberger, Alfred. (1873–1932)]

Bronze Commemorative Medal

A rare and finely made bronze commemoration medal of Gustav Mahler by Alfred Rothberger, shown in profile to the left on the obverse, with his name inscribed to the right of the portrait; the reverse depicts laurel leaves among clouds with the inscription "MEINE SEIT WIRD NOCH KOMMEN (My time will yet come)" and marked "Munze Wien" along the edge. Diameter measures 2 inches (5 cm); in fine condition.

The oft-quoted remark "My time will yet come" originally appeared in a letter of 31 January 1902 to his fiancée, Alma Schindler. Mahler had just conducted the première of Richard Strauss’s opera Feuersnot at the Vienna Court Opera and had then gone to Semmering, just outside Vienna, for a short period of rest, apparently especially to get away from Strauss and his wife, Pauline de Ahna. "…the whole evening was unsatisfactory for me. The atmosphere that Strauss radiates around him is so disillusioning — one really loses contact with oneself. If these are the fruits that hang on a tree — how can one love the tree? You have hit the bull’s eye with your remark about him. And I am really proud of it, that you hit the truth so spontaneously. Is it not better to eat the bread of poverty together and walk in the light, rather than lose oneself thus in the dirt! The time will come, when men will see the chaff separated from the wheat — and my time will come when his is up…” (19660)

Classical Music