1851 Queen Victoria Bushranger Medal

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1851 Queen Victoria Bushranger Medal

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One of the most important Australian colonial artefacts ever offered by Downies, the 1851 Queen Victoria Bushranger Medal represents a compelling combination of vital Australian history and the greatest rarity.


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The 1851 Bushranger Medal was the earliest die-struck medal minted in New South Wales. It was created as an award for members of the colonial police forces and granted for ‘Faithful and Distinguished Services’. A sharp reflection of the society of 1850s Australia, with bushranging booming 
at least three of the four recipients received the medal for actions against bushrangers. As a consequence, the award is known as ‘the 1851 Bushranger Medal’.
One of only three 1851 Bushranger Medals known to have appeared on the market, the example before you was awarded to Sgt Robert Worsley. A Mounted Police trooper, Worsley led a party in pursuit of notorious bushranger Jimmy Wilson. Displaying immense bravery, giving no thought to his own welfare, Worsley confronted the gang and killed Wilson, with two other bushrangers captured. For his courage and devotion to duty, Worsley was awarded the 1851 Bushranger Medal. Graded about Extremely Fine, the medal has Worsley’s name inscribed on the edge.
A genuine artefact of Australia’s colonial history, the 1851 Bushranger Medal was designed and struck by Sydney silversmith John Craven  Thornthwaite, who arrived from Britain in 1849. The medal was the first completed work by Thornthwaite, who went on to create some of Australia’s earliest Trade Tokens. Whilst of the greatest historical and numismatic importance, the 1851 Bushranger Medal is also notable for its extreme rarity.

Along with one unnamed example, there are only four known named 1851 Bushrangers Medals! A fifth named medal is purported to exist, but
has never been sighted. With the few examples of this great Australian rarity obviously treasured by the owners, and becoming beloved family
heirlooms, it will come as no surprise that the 1851 Bushranger Medal is seldom seen on the market. The Worsley medal, for example, was held by the same family since the 1950s!

More Information
Year of Issue1851
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