Rare, possibly unique, Period Miniature Group of Five comprising:
China War Medal 1900. Miniature circular silver medal with claw and swivel ribbon bar suspension; the face with the veiled crowned head and shoulders portrait of Queen Victoria circumscribed ‘VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX’ (Victoria Queen and Empress); the reverse with a trophy of arms around a palm tree, a shield bearing the royal arms in the foreground, inscribed below ‘CHINA’ and dated ‘1900’, circumscribed above ‘ARMIS EXPOSCERE PACEM’ (Latin = they demanded peace by force of arms); diameter 17.91 (0.5 inch).
The Medal was instituted in 1901 to be awarded to those who had participated in the defence of the Foreign Legations in Peking (Beijing) during the two and a half months siege by the ‘Boxers’ or in lifting the siege.
The proposal of Emperor Wilhelm II for a common commemorative medal for the eight-nation alliance was rejected and each country (except Austria-Hungary) issued its own medal.
1914-15 Star. Miniature four-pointed faceted gilt bronze star with crown and loop suspension; the face with crossed swords and a circular oak wreath imposed, a ribbon centrally bearing the dates ‘1914-15’, the royal cipher ‘GV’ (for King George V) below; the reverse plain; diameter 20.24mm (0.8 inch).
The Star was instituted in 1918 and awarded to those who had served in any theatre of war between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915 but had not already been awarded the 1914 Star.
British War Medal, 1914-1920. Miniature circular silver medal with claw and swivel ribbon bar suspension; the face with the head of King George V facing left, circumscribed ‘GEORGIVS V BRITT: OMN: REX ET IND : IMP:’ (George V King of Great Britain and Emperor of India); the reverse with St. George on horseback, reins in his left hand, a sword in his right, trampling a shield bearing an eagle with wings outstretched and a skull and crossbones, wavy lines denoting the sea beyond, a radiant rising sun upper right, dated ‘1914’ and ‘1918’ upper left and right respectively; diameter 17.81m (0.7 inch).
The medal was instituted in 1919 and awarded to members of the British and Imperial forces who had served between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Officers and men of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, and Dominion and Colonial naval forces were required to have completed 28 days mobilised service, though this was waived if active service had been terminated by death.
The award criteria were subsequently extended to include post-war mine-clearing at sea and service in operations in Russia in 1919-20.
Inter-Allied Victory Medal, Great Britain and British Empire issue, 1914-1919. Miniature circular bronze medal on laterally pierced ball suspension; the face with a winged figure of Victory; the reverse inscribed ‘THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILISATION 1914-1919’ within a circular laurel wreath; diameter 17.96mm (0.71 inch).
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.
The British victory medal was instituted on 1 September 1919 to be awarded to all those who served in a theatre of operations between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. It was awarded also to all British Empire military, except those of South Africa, whose government issued their own variant. Additionally, it was awarded to those British servicemen active in the Hejaz and Aden after the end of the European war, for post-war mine clearance operations and for the Royal Navy mission to Russia, hence the latter date of 1919.
Greece, Kingdom, Order of the Redeemer, Chevalier’s breast badge in silver, gilt and enamel. Miniature white enamel Maltese cross with green enamel oak and laurel wreath between the arms, on swivel silver crown suspension; the face with a circular central gold-ground medallion with a head and shoulders full-face portrait of the Redeemer within a blue enamel ring inscribed in gilt Greek letters ‘Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power’ - Exodus, chapter 15, verse 6); the reverse with a circular central blue medallion bearing a gilt-edged Greek cross within a blue enamel ring inscribed in gilt Greek letters ‘The fourth National Assembly of the Hellenes at Argos, 1829’; diameter 17.98 (0.7 inch).
The fourth National Assembly of the Hellenes resolved on 31 July 1829 to create the Order to reward those who had fought for and supported the Greek war for independence. However, it was not until after the arrival in the newly independent kingdom of Greece of King Otho I that the Order was finally instituted by Royal Decree published on 22 May 1833. The Order was amended in 1863 by the new King George I, the head of King Otho being replaced by that of the Redeemer.
The Order remained unchanged until 1975 when the crown suspension was replaced by a wreath of oak and laurel following the abolition of the monarchy. The Order remains the highest honour of Greece.
The medals are bar-mounted for wear by Spink & Son Ltd. of London.
The combination of awards here is very rare and possibly unique.