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Crimean War Medal: CM.87-2005

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Ruler: Victoria (1837-1901)
Ruler: Victoria regina (With the title of)
Die-engraver: Wyon, Benjamin
Mint: London




Rivalry between Britain and Russia over India, and between Russia and France over the protection of Christians under Ottoman rule, led in the 1850s to a focus of diplomatic attention on the ailing Ottoman Empire. British diplomatic successes led to a Russian attempt to annexe the Danubian principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia from the Ottomans, and the Russian destruction of the Ottoman Black Sea fleet when Turkey went to war in retaliation. Britain and France moved in support of the Ottomans and although the Danubian provinces were returned the allies' conditions for peace far exceeded this. The Russian refusal to meet these conditions led to full-scale international war in late 1854. The war was mainly composed of allied attempts to reduce Russian fortresses on the Black Sea (and also on the Baltic), of which only the lengthy siege of Sevastopol was successful, but Russia was unable to force withdrawal on the allies and so Tsar Nicholas I made peace in 1856. The medal that was awarded for participation in this conflict was designed by Benjamin Wyon, and this example came from the collection of his descendant Allan Gairdner Wyon, a medallist in his turn. The piece is a regular issue in silver, and bears the number `163' inscribed in the edge, but no name; the medals were very rarely named in the hurry to get them out to their recipients in the Crimea but it seems more likely that this example stayed with Wyon to be passed on to his family.


History note: From the estate of the late Mrs Venetia M. Watson, daughter of the artist's descendant Allan Gairdner Wyon

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2005-01-31) by Watson, Philip Charles


1855 CE - 1857 CE


Number `163' inscribed in edge

Components of the work

Object composed of silver Diameter 35.0 mm Die Axis 0 degrees Weight 30.83 g

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of Victoria facing left

  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Roman warrior being wreathed by flying Victory

  • Text: CRIMEA
  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.87-2005
Primary reference Number: 156602
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 30 June 2016 Last processed: Tuesday 13 June 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Crimean War Medal" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-23 15:09:35

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{{cite web|url= |title=Crimean War Medal |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-02-23 15:09:35|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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