Aussie WWII Victoria Cross makes $1.1m worth of history in Melbourne
The first Australian World War II Victoria Cross (VC) to ever appear at auction surpassed its estimate at a sale in Melbourne today (July 28).

A single lot containing the VC awarded to Australian Ted Kenna for his actions in New Guinea in 1945, along with nine other medals he received, narrowly surpassed its US$1.0m estimate with a US$1.1m showing at Noble Numismatics.

The VC is awarded for valour in the face of the enemy and is the highest British and Commonwealth decoration.

Just 22 men were awarded to Australians during the second world war, making this piece extremely valuable and highly sought after by collectors.


Kenna’s medals made $100,000 more than their estimate

Kenna, who died last year, single handedly took out a Japanese machine gun post while fighting in New Guinea in 1945.

Kenna's son Robert said that his father's wish, "was to share the value of that medal in dollar terms among the four children."

He added that the family would, "be having a beer together, a wine as far as the girls go, and thinking about dad."

A Naval Gold Medal 1795, awarded to Captain Bligh of "Mutiny on the Bounty" fame following the successful 1797 Battle of Camperdown against the Dutch, sold for $239,000 against its $218,000 estimate at the same auction. 


Captain Bligh survived a mutiny in 1789 to earn his medals

The US$55,000 estimate for another medal awarded to Bligh, by the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, was also smashed at the sale.

The medal, awarded to Bligh for successfully bringing back breadfruit from Tahiti in 1794, sold for $128,000 - evidence that the market for military decorations with a story attached to them remains vibrant.

 

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