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Sainte Helene Medal & Original Box


Owen
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As a newbie to this forum (and site), I wanted to say hello and to share a small collection of Sainte Helene Medals and original box bought very recently.

I am trying to collect (as funds and time allow!) all the medals associated with the Peninsular Wars - having long had an interest in the subject area, it just seems a natural extension. I don't have any depth of knowledge with medal collecting and am very much 'learning as I go'....so any any information/advice you might have would be gratefully received.

I collected what I thought were the 3 different sizes for the Ste Helene Medal (although I now believe that there might be one more 'reduction' version...any advice on this gratefully received...see the picture below).

Also, can anyone tell me where the medal is measured from/to? (normally, I would measure from side to side (i.e. across the widest part), but I understand that this medal is measured differently?

I think that the ribbons are original (certainly on the smallest and the largest medals) and the box is in excellent condition and certainly original:

Box-Front.jpgThe3Sizes.jpg

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WOW!:o This is the first time I see an original box for the Médaille de Ste Hélène!

As far as minis (réductions) go, most (if not all) were made by jewelers and other non governmental sources, so sizes vary greatly. I very much doubt you'd be able to find all possible sizes.

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WOW!:o This is the first time I see an original box for the Médaille de Ste Hélène!

As far as minis (réductions) go, most (if not all) were made by jewelers and other non governmental sources, so sizes vary greatly. I very much doubt you'd be able to find all possible sizes.

Hi - I'm pleased that the box is of interest and thanks for the information on the réductions - but now you have set me a challenge to find as many different sizes as I can!!!

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I'd like to add to Frank's expression of appreciation for sharing the box with us. Amazing! I have only seen two award certificates in thirty-odd years but had not seen the box until now. There are bound to be all kinds of variations on the medal itself from full through half to miniature size. I have seen them the size of a little fingernail for mounting on lapel chains right up to full size, with differences indicating different makers. I have one in a period box which may have been the one in which it was supplied by a retail outlet at some point. I'll photograph it and post it later, when I have a moment. But yours is without any doubt the official box in which the first series of medals for award to veterans came. Magnificent!

PK

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I'd like to add to Frank's expression of appreciation for sharing the box with us. Amazing! I have only seen two award certificates in thirty-odd years but had not seen the box until now. There are bound to be all kinds of variations on the medal itself from full through half to miniature size. I have seen them the size of a little fingernail for mounting on lapel chains right up to full size, with differences indicating different makers. I have one in a period box which may have been the one in which it was supplied by a retail outlet at some point. I'll photograph it and post it later, when I have a moment. But yours is without any doubt the official box in which the first series of medals for award to veterans came. Magnificent!

PK

Hi - I am really glad that the box is of such interest and I would love to see the picture of the box that you have .... this whole subject area fascinates me (I guess in the main becasue these are tangible links with an extraordinary period in history).

The smallest Ste Helene that I have (shown in the picture) is the size of a small fingernail and your comment about lapel chains answers a question I had posed mentally to myself (why so small!).

Best wishes.

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I wouldn't be surprised if the box alone was worth much more than the medal...

A few of us have 30+ years of collecting and had NEVER seen one before.

Thanks for sharing your views - I am quite excited! I knew that the box was hard to come by, but I had no idea just how hard.

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This example came from a family. The construction and external pattern are fairly typical of the mid to late 19th century. The lid is silk-padded and I suspect that there may be a part missing from the interior of the base. However, the medal is mint and the box is in extremely good condition and I believe that this is the sort of box in which it was supplied by retail outlets. Such boxes may have served for other medals too, such as the campaign medals of the period, although I have never seen another like it.

PK

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This example came from a family. The construction and external pattern are fairly typical of the mid to late 19th century. The lid is silk-padded and I suspect that there may be a part missing from the interior of the base. However, the medal is mint and the box is in extremely good condition and I believe that this is the sort of box in which it was supplied by retail outlets. Such boxes may have served for other medals too, such as the campaign medals of the period, although I have never seen another like it.

PK

This is very interesting to see - it is the first I have seen like this. Is the top of the lid marked/inscribed in any way?

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My mistake, Monkey. Posted the same pic twice. As you can see, no markings. There is what appears to be the indentation from pinstriping about 8 cm in from the edges, around the raised part of the lid, probably gold leaf at one point but long gone.

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My mistake, Monkey. Posted the same pic twice. As you can see, no markings. There is what appears to be the indentation from pinstriping about 8 cm in from the edges, around the raised part of the lid, probably gold leaf at one point but long gone.

Certainly a handsome box and great to have it - it amazes me that these boxes have survived in such good condition.

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  • 1 year later...

This example came from a family. The construction and external pattern are fairly typical of the mid to late 19th century. The lid is silk-padded and I suspect that there may be a part missing from the interior of the base. However, the medal is mint and the box is in extremely good condition and I believe that this is the sort of box in which it was supplied by retail outlets. Such boxes may have served for other medals too, such as the campaign medals of the period, although I have never seen another like it.

PK

This may have come from the family, but it is not an original box for the medal. The white one is and they are rare and do indeed cost a lot; more than the medal actually. With the above one, I've seen a total of four, one of which is in my collection. The certificates are fairly easy to find to the army, but they've sky rocketed in price lately. I used to find them for 40 Sterling and now they've gone up anywhere from three to five times. My rarest one is to a sailor and is the only one I've ever seen. The French site on the medal is fantastic and there are lots of wonderful photos of the vets wearing their medals.

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Indeed. Someone obviously placed the medal in this box at some point. This must be the website to which you refer: http://www.stehelene...?page=1&lang=en It is very good.

French militaria is certainly going up in price but remains cheap by comparison with Nazi memorabilia. But give the vultures and speculators enough time and it will also be unaffordable for 80% of those would are interested in it for good reasons.

Edited by PKeating
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I have always thought this to be an interesting medal - and have often wondered what made Napoleon 3rd. decide

to reward Napoleon the First's old soldiers. I understand that when it was decided-on - in, I think, 1853 ? - they were

of the opinion that only a few thousand veterans would make a claim. They must have had a shock when over 240,000

applied.

I have one in stock at present - however, the best one was to a Mauritian who was Napoleon's personal valet on St. Helena.

When he died the two family members who could make a claim ended up having a duel and one was killed. I regret I can't

remember the names.

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Well, there is actually quite a bit on the medal itself. Napoleon 3rd decided to issue a medal so as to glorify his Uncle and thereby solidify his political claims to power and the revolutionary underpinnings thereto. Also, i think they might have been a bit fed up with seeing that almost everyone else had issued some sort of Napoleonic war medal.

There is a letter recounting the fact that the men of every allied army arching into Paris in 1815 seemed to have medals-except the "manly British".

I reckon we do the same thing today- monkey see...that is why the UK government is considering a Murmansk medal of some sort i hear- a scant 65 years late.

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Indeed. Someone obviously placed the medal in this box at some point. This must be the website to which you refer: http://www.stehelene...?page=1&lang=en It is very good.

French militaria is certainly going up in price but remains cheap by comparison with Nazi memorabilia. But give the vultures and speculators enough time and it will also be unaffordable for 80% of those would are interested in it for good reasons.

Yes, that's the site. Everytime I see a certificate, I jot down all the info or keep the photo and send them an update for their data file. I send them a scan of the certificate if possible and they are very happy to get the info. Needless to say, I've never come across anything or photos regarding the men whose certificates I have, but hope springs eternal and if every one who had a certificate or a photo would send them a scan of it, then the project would grow by leaps and bounds. The photos are amazing and wonderful; just like the ones you see of the English and German veterans in their sunset years sporting their medals proudly. I personally don't have any photos like that but would love to see our fellow members post theirs with names if possible.

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