Unique Tibet Victoria Cross sets UK auction record at $699,500



2015-06-26 13:47:02

Unique Tibet Victoria Cross sets UK auction record at $699,500

The only Victoria Cross awarded in Tibet will go on display at the Imperial War Museum

A unique Victoria Cross medal group, the only awarded for the British campaign in Tibet (1903-1904), has set a UK auction record at Morton & Eden in London on July 3.

 The medal group, with the Gyantse Jong fortess pictured behind

The medal group was bought by an agent acting on behalf of Lord Ashcroft, owner of the largest Victoria Cross collection in the world. Selling for 408,000 ($699,744), it will now go on display in the Ashcroft Trust gallery at the Imperial War Museum, London.

The Victoria Cross is Britain's highest military decoration, awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy".

This example was awarded to Colonel John Duncan Grant who, accompanied by a single Gurkha, stormed a Tibetan fortress, the Gyantse Jong.

He had been sent as part of a force to negotiate with the Dalai Lamai in an effort to prevent Russian encroachment into India.

"Little by little the advance was made, and conspicuous in front of the small company was Grant, with one Sepoy, who was clearly determined to rival his officer in one of the pluckiest pieces of work ever known on the Indian frontier," one eyewitness recalled.

Grant's Victoria Cross was the last to be awarded before the first world war, and was presented to him by Edward VII at Buckingham Palace on July 24, 1905.

The current auction record for a Victoria Cross is held by that of Captain Alfred Shout, which sold for approx 410,000 ($703,175) in Sydney in 2006.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a brilliant selection of militaria for sale, including an autograph from Rambahadur Limbu VI, a heroic Gurkha officer.

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