The Mayor’s Siege of Kimberley Medal, very rare, type with smooth rim. Attractive toned example in excellent condition.
With some lustre and storage toning.
Extremely rare, likely only a handful survive and rarely show up for sale.
This medal preceded the commonly seen Kimberley Star, being made by the Town’s authorities and struck in England but was never officially issued, unfortunately they were ordered to be melted down due to their unsanctioned use of the Royal Cipher in the design. It is not known how many survived but only a small few have appeared for sale.
It was then redesigned as the Kimberley Star, which was financed out of the pocket of Mayor Oliver, who was Mayor during the siege and is commonly seen today in a pair with the Queen’s South Africa Medal, with bar for the Defence of Kimberley.
An entry in the useful reference Book Boer War Tribute Medals by M.G. Hibbard states:
“‘Soon after the lifting of the siege the civic authorities began looking around for a means of commemorating a defence that had taxed the minds and abilities of all those bottled up by the Boers. It is believed that the first medal to be commissioned was a circular Kimberley Medal. It was struck in 1900, presumably in England, and it is interesting to note that of all the silver commemorative medals struck at this time, it is one of the few that carries no hallmark or manufacturer’s initials (another notable exception is the Yorkshire Imperial Yeomanry Medal). The design chosen for the reverse included the Imperial crown and Royal monogram VRI and it has been suggested that the medal was suppressed because no official sanction for the use of this had been given.
Another reason suggested for the withdrawal of the medal is that the date of the investment is shown as 15 October 1899, instead of 14 October 1899, but it is hardly valid as the wrong date could easily have been changed by the die-sinker. It is not known how many of the circular Kimberley Medals were struck but a few have managed to escape the melting pot. Those which have survived are much prized in the hands of lucky collectors.’