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Commemorative Medal for the Congo (Médaille Commémorative du Congo / Herinneringsmedaille voor Congo), 1879-1908
[BE307]
Quantity Available: 1
£85
Commemorative Medal for the Congo (Médaille Commémorative du Congo / Herinneringsmedaille voor Congo), 1879-1908
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Circular gilt bronze medal in the form of a circular central medallion within a laurel wreath, on laterally-pierced loop for ribbon suspension; the face with the head of King Leopold II in relief facing left, signed ‘G. DEVREESE.’ (for Godefroy Devreese, 1861-1941); the reverse with the monogram of Leopold II centrally, circumscribed ‘TRAVAIL ET PROGRES’ (work and progress - motto of the Belgian Congo) and dated ‘1879-1908’; on a long incorrect ribbon; in a pasteboard box with maker’s mark ‘VAN LAREBEKE’ of Brussels. (The medal came in the box and is sold with it, though it does not appear old enough to correspond with the issue of the medal.) The medal was instituted by King Albert on 21 January 1929 to ‘recognise the merit and devotion of the agents of the International Association of the Congo, the societies, missionaries, merchants and colonists who, during the period from 1879 to 18 October 1908, with a valiant faith, contributed, under the impulsion of the founder of our Colony, largely to opened the centre of Africa to civilisation’ (‘a reconnâitre les mérites et le devouement des agents de l'Assocation Internationale du Congo, des Sociétés. des missionaires commerçants et colons, qui, durant la période de 1879 au 18 octobre 1908, ont, avec une foi vaillante, contribui, sous l'impulsion du fondateur de notre Colonie, a ouvrier largement le Centre de l'Afrique a la civilisation’). Leopold II founded the Assocation Internationale du Congo and funded Stanley’s expedition to the Congo in 1879. At the Berlin Conference of 1884, the territory was acknowledged as his personal property. The next years saw the relentless exploitation of its natural resources, the brutality and abuses being such that in 1908 Leopold II was obliged to transfer it to Belgium when it became a Belgian colony. The medal was a somewhat belated recognition of the work, often in difficult circumstances, of those involved. A very good example of a relatively rare medal.

 
Commemorative Medal for the Congo (Médaille Commémorative du Congo / Herinneringsmedaille voor Congo), 1879-1908
Click to enlarge
Commemorative Medal for the Congo (Médaille Commémorative du Congo / Herinneringsmedaille voor Congo), 1879-1908
Click to enlarge
Commemorative Medal for the Congo (Médaille Commémorative du Congo / Herinneringsmedaille voor Congo), 1879-1908
Click to enlarge
Commemorative Medal for the Congo (Médaille Commémorative du Congo / Herinneringsmedaille voor Congo), 1879-1908
Click to enlarge
Commemorative Medal for the Congo (Médaille Commémorative du Congo / Herinneringsmedaille voor Congo), 1879-1908
Click to enlarge
Commemorative Medal for the Congo (Médaille Commémorative du Congo / Herinneringsmedaille voor Congo), 1879-1908
Click to enlarge

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