Japan; state; struck in the rule of
Lester Watson Collection
Allied Victory Medal, 1914-18; denomination
contemporary copy; authenticity
When the Great War of 1914-1918 had ended, there was a genuine feeling among the victorious Allies that their military efforts had been instrumental in preserving modern civilization, and this and the united spirit of the Alliance were commemorated in a combined issue of medals to those who had seen active service during the conflict. 13 nations in all issued a variety of this medal; all shared the rainbow ribbon and suspension.
The Japanese issue of the medal, of which this is probably a French copy made for collectors in 1920, was different from all the others in that it did not feature a type of the goddess Victory as its obverse emblem; this symbol, meaningless to Japanese culture, was replaced with an archetypal ancient warrior, barefoot and brandishing a quarterstaff.
This medal is unnamed, which is probably to be explained by its being only an imitation rather than a genuine award. Lester Watson purchased it from the London dealers Baldwin at some point before 1928.
The Museum must thank Mr Sawyer Rank for his information on this medal.
France, origin, country
Possibly a French replica struck in 1920 for collectors.
weight, 20.82, g
diameter, 36.6, mm
loan; 2005; Cambridge in America
Gift of L. Hoyt Watson; ex Lester Watson Collection, bt Baldwin before 1928
design; obverse; Warrior facing viewer holding staff athwarts
design; reverse; Five flags bearing pictograms around globe, all in border
Watson Catalogue; M
Hayward, John (author, C20th). Birch, Diana. Bishop, Richard. 2006. British Battles and Medals 7th edn.London: Spinkp. 508-511
British and other Campaign and Gallantry Medals From the Collection of Lester Watson (d. 1959).
Victory Medal 1914-1919 (Japan)
Object Number: LW.0352
(Coins and Medals)
(record id: 141563; input: 2007-03-27; modified: 2012-01-16)