Medals of those who defeated Napoleon go under the hammer

Dix Noonan Webb has one of their spectacular medals auctions coming up, and as we've reported a set of WWII medals belonging to one of the founding members of the SAS is leading the sale with a high estimate of £50,000.

However, it is not only those with an interest in the Second World War who should mark the date of the sale in their diaries, as the range of the sale has spreads far further than that.

Another section which is particularly strong is that representing Britain's role in battling against Napoleon, specifically her triumphs at Trafalgar and Waterloo.

The main representation of Trafalgar is a Naval General Service 1793-1840 medal with two clasps: one for Trafalgar and one for Java. The good/very fine piece was the property of Francis James, who served as a Landsman aboard HMS Royal Sovereign at Trafalgar and is listed at £4,000-5,000.

There are three pieces representing Waterloo: Firstly, there is a straightforward Waterloo medal, awarded to Sergeant Major James Page of the 1st Regiment Dragoon Guards. In nearly very fine condition, it is expected to bring £3,000-3,500 - a useful entry-level investment.

Hanoverian Waterloo medal
Waterloo medal and minituare of its recipient
(Click to enlarge)

Another Waterloo medal was awarded to Johann Augustin Julius Kuckuck of the Kingdom of Hanover and that appears here alongside a fine oval miniature of him, made oil on ivory and a gilt badge with a GvR cypher from his later Hanoverian service. Together they are expected to bring £6,000-8,000.

However, the best lot of all is the important Waterloo group awarded to Colonel Joseph Muter (pictured), consisting of a Royal Guelphic Order (KCH - military), a Waterloo medal, a Russian Order of Saint Vladimir, (4th Class breast badge, gold and enamels) and led by an Order of the Bath (CB - military).

The CB is represented both by the breast badge itself in 22 carat gold and enamels and a Chapel Stall Plate.

At Waterloo Muter commanded the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons at the beginning of the battle but, on the death of Major-General Sir William Ponsonby, took over command of the Union Brigade comprising the 1st Royal Dragoons, the 2nd Dragoons (Scots Greys) and the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons.

Joseph Muter Order of the Bath, Waterloo
Joseph Muter's Order of the Bath and other medals associated with Waterloo

This brigade, with the brigade of Life Guards, Blues, and King's Dragoon Guards, form the two brigades of cavalry mentioned by the Duke of Wellington as having particularly distinguished themselves at Waterloo.

Towards the close of the action, Colonel Muter was wounded, (and his horse wounded twice) but he lived on until 1840, leaving much of his money to Edinburgh University, and some to the Inniskilling Dragoons. The medal group is expected to fetch £25,000-30,000.

Dix Noonan Webb's auction takes place on September 16-17 in London with online bidding available.


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