Skip to main content

Abyssinian War Medal: CM.1118-2009

An image of Abyssinian War Medal

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: In storage

Maker(s)

Mint: London
Artist: Jones, Owen
Die-engraver: Wyon, Joseph Shepherd
Ruler: Victoria (1837-1901)

Entities

Categories

Description

The Abyssinian War Medal was awarded to those involved in a 1867-1868 expedition to Abyssinia to secure the release of British labourers sent to the country at the request of King Theodore, but imprisoned on their arrival. Though 43,000 men were involved in the campaign (only 14,683 being soldiers) and vastly outnumbered, total casualties were only 2 killed and 27 wounded, and the King committed suicide when his city of Magdala fell to the British.
This medal was awarded to Able Bodied Seaman T. Simpkin, whose vessel, HMS Spiteful, despite only being a paddle-steamer single-handedly quelled piracy in the Arabian Gulf during the campaign, in a month's cruise in 1868 in which she captured 6 vessels and rescued 200 slaves. Simpkin was presumably part of this effort, and Lester Watson purchased the medal awarded for it at some point before 1928.
The Museum is glad to acknowledge the help of Mr G. M. Stein with the history of this medal.

Notes

History note: Gift of L. Hoyt Watson; ex Lester Watson Collection, bt before 1928

Legal notes

Given by Lester Watson through Cambridge in America, 2009

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 32.5 mm
Weight: 31.15 g

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2009) by Watson, Lester

Dating

Production date: AD 1869

Materials used in production

Silver

Techniques used in production

Struck

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of Victoria facing left, with nine quintuple-leafed florets in triangles surrounding; crown at stem

  • Text: A B Y S S I N I A
  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Inscription with border and laurel wreath around; crown at stem

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1118-2009
Primary reference Number: 141212
Watson Catalogue: 1
Ordering: M-0001
Previous object number: LW.0001
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Saturday 22 January 2022 Last processed: Sunday 23 January 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Coins and Medals

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Abyssinian War Medal" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/141212 Accessed: 2023-01-31 09:42:55

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/141212 |title=Abyssinian War Medal |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-01-31 09:42:55|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/api/v1/objects/object-141212

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/cm/cm15/LW_0001_281_29.jpg"
        alt="Abyssinian War Medal"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Abyssinian War Medal</figcaption>
    </figure>
</div>
    

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like

Abyssinian War Medal

Accession Number: CM.7160-2007

Medals

Accession Number: CM.7099-2007

British War Medal, 1914-20

Accession Number: CM.7221-2007

British War Medal, 1914-20

Accession Number: CM.7279-2007

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...