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Inter-Allied Victory Medal, Cuban rare unofficial issue, 1917-1919
[CU125]
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Inter-Allied Victory Medal, Cuban rare unofficial issue, 1917-1919
Click to enlarge

Circular bronze medal on laterally pierced ball suspension; the face with a winged figure of Victory, arms outstretched; the reverse with the arms of Cuba centrally, oak and laurel branches above, left and right, circumscribed above ‘LA GRAN GUERRA POR LA CIVILIZACION’ (The Great War for Civilisation), the names of the Allied nations to either side of the shield; with ‘BRONZE’ hallmark and triangular ‘AC’ maker’s mark for Etablissements Andrean Chobillon of Paris on the edge; with uneven edges, probably from the time of manufacture rather than from wear; on replaced correct ribbon. The idea of an inter-allied medal to commemorate victory in what was termed ‘The Great War for Civilisation’ is credited to the French Field-Marshal Foch. It was agreed that each of the Allies should issue a medal to their nationals featuring a figure representing ‘Victory’ on the front and have a symmetric double rainbow ribbon with red, the colour of courage and sacrifice at the centre, representing the colours of the allies flags and presenting an allegory of calm after storm. Cuba declared war on the Central Powers on the same day as the United States of America and, although the intention was to send an expeditionary force to Europe, in the event political and practical problems delayed its formation until it was too late to be sent. The medal was instituted by Decree 905 of 10 June 1922, to be awarded to soldiers and sailors who served between 7 April 1917 and 13 January 1919. The face of the medal is identical to that of the French unofficial issue, type 1 designed by Charles and also manufactured by Chobillon, and it may well be that this design, with a Cuban reverse, was adopted on grounds of economy and convenience. It is reliably estimated that no more than 6,000 to 7,000 examples of the official Cuban medal were made, making this one of the rarest Victory medals. Unofficial unsigned versions were produced in the early to mid-1920s both locally in Cuba and in Paris and are, if anything, rarer than the official version.

 
Inter-Allied Victory Medal, Cuban rare unofficial issue, 1917-1919
Click to enlarge
Inter-Allied Victory Medal, Cuban rare unofficial issue, 1917-1919
Click to enlarge
Inter-Allied Victory Medal, Cuban rare unofficial issue, 1917-1919
Click to enlarge
Inter-Allied Victory Medal, Cuban rare unofficial issue, 1917-1919
Click to enlarge
Inter-Allied Victory Medal, Cuban rare unofficial issue, 1917-1919
Click to enlarge
Inter-Allied Victory Medal, Cuban rare unofficial issue, 1917-1919
Click to enlarge
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