New Zealand Cross, an old period ‘official’ specimen, and engraved as such on the reverse, silver with gold applique, as instituted on 10th March 1869 by an Order in Council at Wellington, and the rarest of all gallantry awards. Complete with two pronged gold ribbon brooch bar.
Condition: Nearly Extremely Fine.
In terms of quality, the above described specimen compares favourably with the two New Zealand Crosses authorised in 1914 by the Minister of Defence, Sir James Allen, and struck by the Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Company, London - one of which resides in the Otago Museum, Dunedin, and the other in a private collection. Only 23 New Zealand Crosses were awarded and only 13 official specimens have been authorised up to the present day.
The rarest of all gallantry awards, it was conferred for bravery during the second series of Maori Wars (1860-1872). Only 23 Crosses were awarded, the last being authorised in 1910. This medal was called into being solely because local volunteer forces were not eligible for the Victoria Cross, and it ranks equally with the V.C. It is not to be confused with the New Zealand Cross that was recently instituted by New Zealand as the premier civilian award for bravery, however it influenced the current award which has slight ammendments to the design, but nevertheless does look similar.