Bronze cross pattée with laterally pieced ball suspension; the face with the crowned cipher of King Willem within a wreath of oak and laurel, the upper arm inscribed ‘VRIJWILLIG’ (voluntary); the reverse with the dates ‘1830 / 1831’ centrally within a wreath of oak and laurel, the upper, left, lower and right arms inscribed ‘TROUW AAN’, ‘VADERLAND’, ‘EN’, ‘KONING’ (True to Fatherland and King) respectively; on replaced correct ribbon for volunteers.
The Cross was instituted by Royal Order no. 70 on 12 September 1831 and awarded to participants in the war against Belgium of 1830-1831. Its official name is the Metalen Kruis (Metal Cross) but it is popularly known as the Hasselt Kruis (Hasselt Cross) since the bronze for the cross came from Belgian cannon captured during the Battle of Hasselt on 8 August 1831. A special version of the Cross was produced in smaller numbers for volunteers (as opposed to regular soldiers) and inscribed as in this example.
At the Congress of Vienna in 1815 at which the Great Powers laid out the post-Napoleonic European map, Belgium became part of the new Kingdom of the Netherlands. However, the French-speaking Catholic elements of the population became increasingly disenchanted with the rule of a Dutch-speaking Protestant King Willem I and a rebellion started in Brussels in 1830. Belgian independence was declared and Dutch forces invaded but withdrew at the insistence of France and Britain. The independence of Belgium with Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha as king was ratified at the London Conference of 1830-1831.
An excellent example of an early and rare medal.