Published 29th May 2014
Perhaps one of the mottos that an auctioneer should adopt is the classic phrase 'leave no stone unturned' or to perhaps to make it more apt 'leave no box unopened!' This is certainly the case with a recent find contained within an unassuming metal box that contained a wonderful collection of military medals.
Mounted with staples onto cut out sections of cereal packets are military medals from Waterloo through to the Second World War, covering most of the campaigns of the Victorian period.
Many people are aware of the most significant historical battles such as Waterloo and a single medal is a good find on any day. To find a collection of over 200 medals in one box is a memorable moment!
Included among the groups are a Military Cross, a Distinguished Conduct Medal and several Military Medals, which will be sought after by collectors.
As campaigns continued in certain theatres for several years over the reigns of monarchs, the collection has examples of the various versions of the medals produced. Most notable are the four different versions of the South Africa Medal. When the campaign started in 1899, it was thought that the war would only last a year and so the first medals were produced with the dates 1899-1900 in the upper right section. As the war continued, these dates were erased to leave 'ghost dates'. Eventually second, third and fourth versions were made as Edward the VII ascended to the throne.
The pre-sale estimate for the collection is £8,000-£10,000, although as it has been hidden away for so many years, the eventual total could be much higher. The collection will be offered in our Autumn 2014 Sporting & Collectors Auction (SC19) on 3rd September 2014.