Next week's sale of a Waterloo Medal offers a true military gem to collectors

A.F Brock and Co Auctioneers are holding a two day sale of antiques, jewellery, coins, medals and militaria starting next Tuesday, August 24 2010.

While most lots at the sale offer excellent entry level investment opportunities for collectors, there's one that could prove slightly more popular.

An 1815 Waterloo Medal
The event will feature the auction of a fine example of the famous 1815 Waterloo medal.

The medal was awarded to John Holder of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment of guards and this example is presented in near perfect condition.

For British medal and militaria collectors, this is undoubtedly a piece of some significance.

The Waterloo medal was awarded to all soldiers of the British army that took part in one or more of the Battles of Quatre Bras, Ligny and of course, Waterloo in June 1815.

The military award depicts the effigy of the Prince Regent along with the inscription "George P. Regent." While the reverse presents a seated figure of Victory with the words "Wellington" and "Waterloo."

Most significantly for collectors the medal was the first to be issued by the British government.

In addition to this, it was the first to be awarded posthumously to next of kin and the first to feature the recipient's name around the edge of the piece.

The award is made of silver and measures 37mm in diameter. To date, approximately 37,000 have been awarded with much fewer believed to still be in privately ownership.

The status of this military piece has also been reflected in the prices collectors have paid at auction.

In 1990, an 1815 Waterloo medal would have cost around £350 to buy.

The rare two clasp 19th
century Naval medal

Today, the same medal would be worth ten times as much at £3,500.

That's a solid return on any investment in just twenty years.

And for those collectors yet to consider investing in early British medals and militaria there's never been a better time to get involved.

Last month saw the sale of a collection of rare 19th century Navy medals at Spink's auction house.

One particular highlight was the sale of a rare two clasp Officer's "American Frigate Action" medal which had been awarded to Lt. Charles Rawdon of the Royal Navy.

Presented in the years after the Waterloo medal and carrying a pre-auction estimate of £10,000, the fine piece sold for an impressive £17,000.

So with this summer proving an eventful one for 19th century medals and militaria, next week's auction piece could prove to be the find of the year so far for collectors and investors alike.


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