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Colony of Natal: Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee for Zulu Chiefs

Colony of Natal: Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee for Zulu ChiefsColony of Natal: Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee for Zulu Chiefs
Colony of Natal: Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee for Zulu ChiefsColony of Natal: Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee for Zulu Chiefs
Form: Circular with claw attachment for a ring connected to an ornamented rectangular ribbon bar by a link ring. Various long ribbons for wearing round the neck.
By: Obverse after L.C. Wyon
Date: 1897
Ref:  BHM: 3591; MYB: 299B; Laidlaw: 0138a;
Variations:
SizeMetalMassValue
38.2 mmSilver29.2 gm$1,800

Edge: Plain. Sometimes engraved with the name of a Zulu Chief.

Obverse: Within a beaded border round toothed rim, veiled and diademed head of Queen Victoria, left. Legend: “VICTORIA, QUEEN AND EMPRESS”. Rose at the foot.

Reverse: Toothed rim. Within a laurel wreath surmounted by the Royal coat of arms, and anchored at the base by the Star of India, the Emblem of British India, across: “TO COMMEMORATE / THE SIXTIETH YEAR / OF THE REIGN / OF H.M. QUEEN / VICTORIA / 1897”.

Notes: A similar medal (but 34 mm) is listed in MYB which reports that it it was issued to civil and military personnel associated with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in India. It is not known if this issue did in fact take place. However, it is certain from the Natal colonial archives held in Pietermaritzburg that about 200 of these medals were issued to Zulu chiefs. Photographs of Zulu Chiefs wearing the medal exist, sometimes along with the King Edward VII coronation medal (Laidlaw 0008b)

The first example has the edge inscription: “BACELA”, a chief in the New Hanover region. It was Lot 1050 at the Stack's New York International Sale of 1/10/2011 and sold for $1955.

The second example is unnamed.

A medal (Laidlaw 0138b) made from the same dies exists in silver, bronze and white metal. The silver medal is lighter and proof-like.