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India Medal (1895-1902): CM.1270-2009

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Object information

Current Location: In storage

Maker(s)

Mint: Calcutta
Artist: Brock, Thomas
Artist: Saulles, George W. de
Ruler: Victoria (1837-1901)
Ruler: Victoria regina et imperatrix (With the title of)

Entities

Categories

Description

By 1895 it was beginning to be considered that the 23 bars issued to the India General Service Medal implied a need for its replacement, and in 1896 the new India Medal was first issued.
Chitral (now at the very northern edge of Pakistan) was a small border state between British India and Afghanistan, and thus the focus of considerable British attention. Considerably expanded under the Great Mehtar Aman ul-Mulk, the country was riven with a bloody succession crisis after his death in 1892, seeing five different rulers in the course of the next three years. Afghan interference in this conflict led the British to negotiate the emplacement of a garrison at Chitral in 1895 to safeguard their position. Amir al-Mulk, one of the rivals for the succession, thereupon seized Chitral and demanded recognition. When this could not be obtained Amir's support dwindled and a previously defeated rival, Shir Afzal Khan, returned from Afghanistan and besieged the British garrison in Chitral. They held out for a month until two separate relief expeditions could reach them, the second of which captured Shir Afzal, and deported both him and Amir al-Mulk to India, emplacing Shujah al-Mulk as Mehtar, who would rule until 1936.
This medal was awarded to Sepoy Zar Kash of the Gilgit Levy, a militia unit which was one of those faced with defending the besieged Chitral fort. Lester Watson purchased the medal at some point before 1928.

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: 36.3 mm
Weight: 48.4 g

Place(s) associated

  • Calcutta

Acquisition and important dates

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

Dating

1896 - 1902

Materials used in production

Silver

Techniques used in production

Struck

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of Victoria facing left

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

Inscription present: British and Indian soldiers together holding a standard

  • Text: INDIA / 1895
  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1270-2009
Primary reference Number: 141364
Watson Catalogue: 171
Ordering: M-0153
Previous object number: LW.0153
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) "India Medal (1895-1902)" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/141364 Accessed: 2024-02-27 19:50:16

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{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/141364 |title=India Medal (1895-1902) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-02-27 19:50:16|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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