Large circular bronze medal with laterally pierced ball suspension; the face with a crowned mantle bearing the letter ‘W’ (for Willem); the reverse with the crowned national coat of arms imposed on an array of trophies, inscribed ‘VOOR TROUWE DIENST’ (for faithful service); diameter 36.72mm (1.44 inches); caduceus hallmark on the edge near the suspension ball indicating a date prior to 1928; on possibly original ribbon.
The Decoration, usually referred to as the Medaille voor Trouwe Dienst (Medal for Faithful Service), was instituted by King Willem I on 19 February 1825 to reward long and faithful service by professional soldiers and sailors below the rank of officer. The bronze medal was gained after 12 years’ service (6 years in the colonies).
In 1851, the word ‘TROUWEN’ in the inscription on the reverse was changed to ‘TROUWE’. The ‘W’ on the face was changed to a ‘J’ on 25 January 1951 for Queen Juliana but was reinstated on 1 January 1984.
This example dates from the period 1851 to 1928 and was in the collection of J. Coolidge Hills, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A. before 1913, in the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A. from 1913 to 1967 and in the collection of the American Numismatic Society from 1967 to 2006.
An early example of impeccable provenance.