'Philippine Insurrection' Purple Heart braves West Coast medals auction
A rare Purple Heart relating to the service of a private during the 'Philippine Insurrection' is for sale
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Thursday 23 February 2012
A mail-auction of medals of the world is offering an impressive 1,350 lots for sale until the start of next month (bidding closes 5pm, Californian time on March 1).
The lots cover a great range in terms of value with items offered for as little at $20, but ranging up to five figures.
One of the American highlights is a 'Philippine Insurrection' Purple Heart. The history of the Purple Heart dates back to George Washington, and the medals are attractive too, but as they are not rare they tend not to sell for high prices at auction.
The example in this case is an exception. It is a split brooch which has been hand-engraved "Addison/Wakefield"
Previously a part of the George Harris collection, the medal is accompanied by notes from that time suggesting that Wakefield was a private from Company L of the 8th US Infantry.
Wakefield is known to have been wounded (as is typically required for the award of a purple heart) on December 5 1900. He was discharged from the army due to disability, though not until eight years later, but it was only in 1934 that the Purple Heart was awarded.
Numbered "42495", the award has suffered some light ribbon wear and there is also some discolouration on the reverse, but in general it is in very fine condition. Very few Purple Hearts were awarded relating to the 'Philippine Insurrection', and the $2,500-3,000 is if anything a little undergenerous.
Watch this space for the British highlights in this intriguing auction.
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