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Egyptian Medal: CM.1221-2009

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Object information

Current Location: In storage

Maker(s)

Mint: Birmingham
Artist: Wyon, Leonard Charles
Artist: Pinches, John
Ruler: Victoria (1837-1901)
Ruler: Victoria regina et imperatrix (With the title of)

Entities

Categories

Description

The serious weakening of Ottoman Egyptian power under foreign influence led to increasing attempts to shed Egyptian dominion in the Sudan, where in 1881 Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad ibn al-Sayyid 'Abd Allah was proclaimed as Mahdi (the legendary final redeemer of Islam). He and his allies soon threatened to remove the Sudan entirely from the Khedive's control. Several serious defeats of Egyptian forces in 1884 led to a concerted British campaign in defence of Egyptian claims, but control could not be recovered. The British withdrew their forces to Egypt and to Khartoum, where General Gordon defended the city whilst awaiting a relief column that, beset by Mahdist attacks, arrived too late.
After this disaster Suakim, on the Red Sea, remained the last British bridgehead in Sudan, and was subject to a number of sieges. The Suakin Field Force, formed to defend this outpost, were repeatedly engaged by Mahdist troops without much conclusion beyond heavy casualties to either side, until the eventual complete British withdrawal in 1890.
The bars on this medal indicate participation in four such engagements, of which several were extremely small. It was awarded to E. H. Middleton, whose rank and unit are not given but who was almost certainly with the 20th Hussars, the only British unit present at Toski. The Watson Collection includes another medal of his; Lester Watson acquired this one at some point before 1928.

Notes

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

Legal notes

Given by Lester Watson through Cambridge in America, 2009

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 35.7 mm
Weight: 50.24 g

Place(s) associated

  • Birmingham

Acquisition and important dates

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

Dating

1884 CE - 1890 CE

Materials used in production

Silver

Techniques used in production

Struck

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of Victoria facing left with veil

  • Text: VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX
  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Sphynx on pedestal facing left

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1221-2009
Primary reference Number: 141315
Watson Catalogue: 115
Ordering: M-0104
Previous object number: LW.0104
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 15 January 2024 Last processed: Monday 15 January 2024

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 (2024) "Egyptian Medal" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/141315 Accessed: 2024-07-21 16:59:12

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{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/141315 |title=Egyptian Medal |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-21 16:59:12|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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