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A few more Victoria Crosses

Article about: Towards the end of last year I had two lucky finds on eBay, and the first medal aptly illustrates how it pays to know your subject. While trawling through seemingly endless copies of the VC,

  1. #1

    Default A few more Victoria Crosses

    Towards the end of last year I had two lucky finds on eBay, and the first medal aptly illustrates how it pays to know your subject. While trawling through seemingly endless copies of the VC, I came across one that stood out from the usual cheap junk being peddled as 'quality' reproductions. I knew that I had seen something similar before, and after scouring the internet I came across two identical copies that had been sold by SPINK in their November 2019 sale. Both were named to Boer War recipients, one fetching £960 - and the other went for £1,000. Both were also described as being: 'Fine quality tailors copy of some age'.


    A few more Victoria CrossesA few more Victoria Crosses

    The tailors copies sold by SPINK


    Going back to the one on eBay, I compared the copy being auctioned and quickly reached the conclusion that it was exactly the same. There were several bid made over the duration of the auction, and I genuinely believed that someone would put in a killer bid at the death... I was prepared to go as high as £200. But to my surprise I secured it for just £26 and I really couldn't believe my luck! I can only assume that the other bidders didn't bother to scrutinize it properly.


    A few more Victoria CrossesA few more Victoria CrossesA few more Victoria Crosses


    The medal is 3mm larger than a genuine VC, and the detail is quite different. But the quality of the detail is quite superb, and even the suspension loop is soldered to make sure it doesn't open up. It is cast (or struck) in solid bronze, and aside from age-related staining it is in lovely condition. I have since located another copy of this medal - which was also awarded to a Boer war veteran - which leads me to believe that this type of tailors copy dates from the turn of the 19th Century. It would have been nice if it had been named, but still a very good very early copy to have!


    Just a few weeks after this purchase I came across another tailors copy which probably dates from around the 1940's or 50's. It is full size and weighs 34 grams. The detailing is very close to the original, and is much better quality than the Hancock's copies which are 2mm smaller than their official VC - and priced at £395.... This one cost me £34.


    A few more Victoria CrossesA few more Victoria Crosses


    Cheers,
    Steve
    Last edited by HARRY THE MOLE; 05-20-2024 at 10:26 AM. Reason: Typo's

  2. #2

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    Geez Steve....

    First of all, congratulations on these two finds added to your collection and for truly incredible prices.

    But I love to verify, as always, good research, comparison of objects and great knowledge about a topic, in this case VC late copies, allows something as good as what happened.

    PS. We all know that anguish in the last seconds of an auction, when an unbeatable offer ends the illusion of obtaining a treasure at a reasonable price.

    Regards
    Santi (and my son Alex, sitting next to me, who has come for the weekend)

  3. #3

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    Congratulations Steve! Fantastic additions! And you more than prove that due diligence and perseverance sometimes pay off with great rewards.
    Andy

  4. #4

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    Fantastic acquisitions Steve, so glad you were able to get them... good on you mate !
    Paul

  5. #5

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    Thankyou for the comments. I've always had an interest in the VC, but it is a medal of such value that it is out of reach to all but the very rich. The best that most us can hope for is a very good tailors copy, and these should not be confused with the junk which is offered on eBay. Mostly stamped out and having shockingly bad detail, many of the lions on the medals have more in common with a Chinese dragon! Often made of cheap base metal and only having a thin coating of bronze. But the tailors copies were made to be worn, because even back then, the award was held in such high esteem that many veterans preferred to wear a copy rather than risk their precious and hard-won original.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  6. #6

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    Reminds me of the group i picked up at the car boot sale , This was as close as i would come to owning a VC Best carboot find of the year VC group

  7. #7

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    That had to be one of the best finds ever... and you got a good price for it too!. I often think of it.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  8. #8

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    Thank you Steve yes once in a lifetime find i sometimes wish i had held on to it as i know more about him that my own grandfather

  9. #9

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    Quote by kradman View Post
    Thank you Steve yes once in a lifetime find i sometimes wish i had held on to it as i know more about him that my own grandfather
    Its certainly something that you should have held on to. But I'm the last person to talk about keeping things - and then selling them!

    Cheers,
    Steve

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