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Remembered Today:

Erased or sub quality Indian 1914-15 stars


Devils Own
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Hi there

I have just acquired a star that is marked up to a Punjabi Sepoy.

It seems lighter in weight and looks thinner. The ribbon loop is quite flat and the star points are 'extra pointy'.

I can also make out the letter S faintly beneath the current naming.

My questions are:

1) Were Indian stars of lesser quality than others?

2) Were there varying qualities of British stars?

3) Could this have been erased and re-stamped?

4) Why would someone erase a star and restamp it to the Punjabis (not a prominent British regiment)?

Cheers

Steve

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Steve,

It does sound like a erased & re-stamped medal. Any chance of a pic of the naming as sometimes that'll give it away?

Les

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I believe its not uncommon for British Medals to Indian Regiments to have got re-cycled via the Military tailors.

However I will check with Mr. Ed Haynes of the O.M.S.A. who has a particular fondness for Indian awards.

Connaught Stranger :D

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Hallo Devils Own, :D

after asking Mr. Ed Haynes, with regards this, here is the reply I received:-

Short answer:

All Indian Army WWI stars were made and named at the Calcutta Mint (except for Britsish who were in the UK when the stars were issued).

The mix of metals used in Calcutta was slightly different (so the colour is "off") and the naming is modestly different.

All pretentious studies of WWI stars ignore these facts, as they ignore the Indian Army.

Legitimate unnamed stars do exist and were (my emerging theory) either later unnamed replacements or in some cases States' Forces awards, but many have also escaped into the collecting market and there has, I think, been some aggressive and shameless group "restoration" (=faking) by dealers both in the Subcontinent and the UK.

Until very recently, almost no Indian WWI groups remained together. There has probably also been some fraudulent naming, but it is pretty easy to spot if you know what the real thing looks like.

Mr. Ed Haynes.

Connaught Stranger :D

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Thanks CS. That is good of you to check this out for me. I would say that this is a re-named version owing to the wafer thiness of it and the presence of a 'ghost' letter S. It is the second time I have been taken in by such an item and the third time this week that I have been sold rubbish on the well-known internet-based auction sales site.

I hadn't previously owned an Indian medal and I wanted a good one so I am a tad disappointed. I see what Mr. Ed Haynes means about the metal mix. They do look more yellow and lighter in colour. I didn't think anybody would bother faking an Indian medal as I didn't realise that there was such a collectors market in the area. It has been quite interesting to read (elsewhere) that many of the indian medal (esp. BWM) were melted down.

As a social study it would be interesting to know how sentimentally attached were the Indian soldiers and their families to the medals.

Thanks Taxman. I haven't got a picture yet but now I am disappointed with it and probably can't be bothered. It will end up as another military play thing for the boys now.

Cheers

Steve

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Hallo Steve, :D

it might be an idea to post pictures as a warning to others out there

about these dodgy types.

Connaught Stranger :D

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Hi CS

I'll give it a go and see if I can do the modifications justice with the pictures.

Incidentally, there were about 7 of these for sale and the equivalent number of victory medals (all registered to Indians) but I am not sure what their originality status was.

Cheers

Steve

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Steve

Some time ago I came across an article written by John Hayward in Spink's July 2003 medal newsletter which you might find helpful. The article dealt with the quality of 1914 and 1914-15 Stars and the issue of fakes.

Here is the link.

Chris

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  • 6 months later...

The only recirculated in India were the army of India medals, where if the recipient was not traceable the medals went back and the rims were skimmed and the medal was renamed to another recipient. This was to do with the economics of it all.

Not only BWMs but most silver medals did not survive as they were melted to make ornaments - those who could not afford gold bought silver jewllery and India traditionally has a huge market in this segment.

Sushil

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Indian Star are noticeably flat on the reverse, especially noticeable at the ring.

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Phil,

With the present state of the economy you should manage a 1914-15 trio for anything betwen Rs 22-25,000. 1914 trios for Rs 35,000!

Now since the part year or two trios have started surfacing as complete groups. When I began collecting about 12 years ago for alomst three years I did not get a single group, now things have changed - groups do surface pretty frequently.

Cheers

Sushil

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Taking today`s conversion rate of 76.3 Indian Rupees to the pound, that`s £327 for a 14/15 trio. To a non-casualty? Or is my calculation wrong? :(

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seems a little expensive!!! I am half indian, and when i last went to india, i found a BWM to a Sepoy. However the man wanted $150 Aussie for it!! Either he knows its a ripp off, or the medal market there is strong!!!

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I`d appreciate a post describing current prices out in the sub-continent. What are most popular? How much are casualty trios? And are plaques popular? Do many people collect to WW1?

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