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Indian Order of Merit, 1st Class, East India Company

Image attached to CM.1284-2009

An image of Medal. Indian Order of Merit, 1st Class. Calcutta mint. East India Company. Indian Army. Obverse: REWARD OF VALOR; Blue boss with crossed swords in circle with lettering around, all in gilt; wreath around and eight star points. Reverse: 1st Class; Eight-pointed star, plain save inscription. Gold, struck, weight 50.93,g, diameter 40.6 mm, 1837-1911. Notes: The Indian Order of Merit, instituted by the Honourable East India Company in 1837, is the oldest award for gallantry of the British Empire. The Order had three classes until 1912, for which medals were awarded in silver, silver and gold and gold respectively, and promotion from one class to a higher was achieved by further acts of bravery. The receipient of this medal must therefore have been awarded the Order's medal three times at some point between 1837 and 1912, when Indian troops were made eligible for the Victoria Cross thus displacing the original first class, but as the medals were issued unnamed, we do not know who the recipient was. Lester Watson purchased the medal from the London dealers Baldwin in 1927.

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Medal. Indian Order of Merit, 1st Class. Calcutta mint. East India Company. Indian Army. Obverse: REWARD OF VALOR; Blue boss with crossed swords in circle with lettering around, all in gilt; wreath around and eight star points. Reverse: 1st Class; Eight-pointed star, plain save inscription. Gold, struck, weight 50.93,g, diameter 40.6 mm, 1837-1911. Notes: The Indian Order of Merit, instituted by the Honourable East India Company in 1837, is the oldest award for gallantry of the British Empire. The Order had three classes until 1912, for which medals were awarded in silver, silver and gold and gold respectively, and promotion from one class to a higher was achieved by further acts of bravery. The receipient of this medal must therefore have been awarded the Order's medal three times at some point between 1837 and 1912, when Indian troops were made eligible for the Victoria Cross thus displacing the original first class, but as the medals were issued unnamed, we do not know who the recipient was. Lester Watson purchased the medal from the London dealers Baldwin in 1927.

Image data

  • Accession Number: CM.1284-2009
  • Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
  • Aperture: f/19.0
  • Focal length: 120
  • Camera: Hasselblad H4D-31
  • Photographer name: Sam Cole
  • Image height: 360 pixels
  • Image width: 270 pixels
  • Processed with: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.4 (Windows)
  • Filesize: 93.86kB
  • Exposure time: 1/60
  • ISO Speed: 100
  • Fnumber: 19/1
  • Captured: 2017:06:05 09:50:14

Key words

19th Century 20th Century army bravery Calcutta East India Company gold Indian Indian Army medal military Order of Merit ribbon stars swords valour

Colours in this image

rgb(187,153,91), rgb(97,47,42), rgb(6,6,7), rgb(239,229,168), rgb(132,48,46), rgb(66,69,108), rgb(49,32,33), rgb(27,36,50), rgb(30,35,74), rgb(116,116,116), rgb(58,60,84)

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Indian Order of Merit, 1st Class, East India Company" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/image/media-2220009097 Accessed: 2023-01-26 23:47:06

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{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/image/media-2220009097 |title=Indian Order of Merit, 1st Class, East India Company |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-01-26 23:47:06|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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