14 March 2016

Delhi Durbar re-unite

Here's a potentially nice re-unite for a Delhi Durbar medal with a 1914 Star and Victory Medal. eBay has the Delhi Durbar medal for 2nd Lt Geoffrey Dyett Abbott, 1st Connaught Rangers, who would later be killed in action on 2nd November 1914.

Geoffrey Dyett Abbott was born at Srinagar, India, on 12 October 1891, the son of Colonel Frank Abbott, 37th Lancers and a grandson of Lieutenant-General H. D. Abbott, C.B., and of Major-General J. C. Berkeley, C.I.E. He was educated at Cheltenham College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was gazetted to the Connaught Rangers in March 1911 and served with the 1st Battalion in India. Promoted to Lieutenant in June 1914, he entered the France/Flanders theatre of war on 26 September 1914. He was killed in action at Laventie, France, on 2 November 1914. His company commander sent the following account of the circumstances: ‘On the 2nd instant [November, 1914] we went to relieve the 2nd Gurkhas and came under rather heavy fire crossing an open place. It was in the above open place he was killed.’ Geoffrey Abbott was buried in the Royal Irish Rifles Graveyard at Laventie.

Lt Abbott's 1914 Star and Victory Medal were sold by Dix Noonan Webb in March 2010 for £460 (estimate £200-£250) and the italicised text above is from the DNW site.

6 March 2016

Loved to death, battered, brooched

Sold today on eBay, this Indian Mutiny Medal and sometime brooch, originally awarded to Robert Smith of the 71st Highlanders. It was sold for £125, a bargain to some and a waste of £125 to others, depending on where you sit when it comes to medals that have obvious damage and/or a history.

I was watching this, interested as much as anything, to see what the final price would be. I like the medals I buy to be in as good a condition as possible and so I don't have obviously damaged medals in my collection. Nevertheless, I can see the merits of buying medals like this one, although I would probably have preferred to purchase it in its secondary brooched status. These re-purposed medals are not uncommon and have the advantage of being, for the most part, quite reasonable to acquire. I suppose an undamaged Indian Mutiny Medal to this regiment would fetch around £400, but I quite like Victoria's facial scars, and the impressed naming in the usual roman capitals, is both lovely and unblemished.

All in all then, I would say that this is a good buy, although I can't imagine that researching the recipient, Robert Smith, will be an easy task.