Medals of the winner of a lost Victoria Cross bring $35,700

paulfrasercollectibles

2015-06-26 12:24:26

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Medals of the winner of a lost Victoria Cross bring $35,700

Dix Noonan Webb's recent sale included a pair of Indian mutiny medals once awarded to a VC winner

As we've reported, one of the key highlights of Dix Noonan Webb's auction last week was the sale of Colditz escapee Ronnie Littledale. But there were many highlights including one notable pair from nearly a century earlier.

This was the pair of medals granted to Duncan Charles Home for his service in India in the mid-19th century. But another medal is conspicuous by its absence.

Home was one of the 'Heroes of the Kashmir Gate' at the assault of Delhi when an 'Explosion Party' was dispatched to blow in the gate ahead of the advancing column. This was attempted under heavy fire, and most of the party were hit before the successful detonation. A bugle was sounded to signal the opportunity to advance and the gat was duly captured.

Home and others involved in the raid were granted the Victoria Cross, though he died soon after in a mine explosion.

Medals Home Indian mutiny lost VCDuncan Home's medalsfor the Indian mutiny (missing a VC)

The pair of medals offered were the Punjab 1848-49 with two clasps and Indian Mutiny 1857-59 with one clasp (for Delhi). The first was described as very fine, the second nearly extremely fine. They were part of the Roger Perkins and Brian Ritchie collections.

But what about the glaring omission? Where is the VC? This might make collectors everywhere wince. According to the catalogue of Perkins's sale in 1990, "[The] Cross, unfortunately, was lost in the 1920s.

"The children took it out of the house while 'playing soldiers' and it was lost in a field. Intensive searches then and later failed to locate it. After so many years it seems unlikely that it will ever be recovered."

A replica was sold with the medals, which nevertheless beat their 16,000-18,000 estimate to achieve a 22,000 ($35,700) hammer price. The set will make an excellent investment.

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