Stunning WW1 WW2 George VI DSO Distinguished Service Order Medal Award Cased
Item History and Pricing
Russell Militaria is proud to present an original George VI WW2 Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in its origina...l maker marked case.
Up for auction is an original King George VI's WW2 era Distinguished Service Order in original presentation case, in great condition. The DSO medal is stunning, with bright white enamel work on both sides of the cross. The centrepiece has beautiful red and green enamel work, the finest workmanship available in the world was used for this important Award! A green wreath with red and gold highlights surrounds a deep red centre- One side of the medal displays a beautifully detailed Kings Crown, with the other side displaying the Royal Cypher of King George VI in high detail. The medal itself has a gilt finish, and is quite thick (please see side photos) with a nice weight to it. The quality of workmanship throughout every aspect of this medal is stunning! The medal is connected to its ribbon through a small chain, with the ribbon being original to the medal and having a sturdy backing. Both the top and lower section of the red and blue ribbon have a rectangular gilt bar, depicting highly detailed wreaths. Overall condition of the medal is excellent, with only one scratch/chip on the lower left section of one side, which does not detract from the beauty of this medal in any way and is barely noticeable- I am happy to send additional photos on request. This medal is stunning on display.
The DSO comes in its original presentation case and has been kept together for over seventy years. The case still stays closed when pushed down, and has a working side button that when pressed opens to reveal the medal. The exterior of the case reads "D.S.O." in bright gold gilt lettering. Exterior of the case has some wear and scratches (please see photos), however is still beautiful on display and a hard to find item. The interior of the case has dark blue/purple felt/velvet, and is perfectly designed to fit the medal in tightly. The other side of the case appears to be white silk/cloth material, with a nice black stamped makers mark in the centre. The makers mark sits below the Kings Crown and reads:
"Garrard & Co LTD
Goldsmiths, Jewellers, &c.
TO THE KING
By Special Appointment
TO THE CROWN
24, Albermarine St. W."
This maker is still in service today, and produces very high quality items for the Royal Family. Overall interior of case is in quite good condition.
This medal was acquired for my private collection, and did not come with any provenance regarding who it was originally awarded to- I have enjoyed it and it is time to move it on to a good home. I hope it is displayed and cherished for years to come. WW2 issue George VI DSO medals are incredibly rare- only 4,880 were issued in the Second World War, and less still have their original presentation cases. This would be the highlight of ANY medal collection, and the centrepiece in any medal display!
These medals (when they do come up) often sell for over 1500-2000£, I am offering it at $9.99 starting with no reserve!
The History of the Distinguished Service Order:
The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the Commonwealth, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat. Since 1993 all ranks have been eligible. Instituted on 6 September 1886 by Queen Victoria in a Royal Warrant published in The London Gazette on 9 November, the first DSOs awarded were dated 25 November 1886.
The order was established to reward individual instances of meritorious or distinguished service in war. It was a military order, until recently for officers only, and typically awarded to officers ranked major (or equivalent) or higher, with awards to ranks below this usually for a high degree of gallantry, just short of deserving the Victoria Cross. While normally given for service under fire or under conditions equivalent to service in actual combat with the enemy, a number of awards made between 1914 and 1916 were under circumstances not under fire, often to staff officers, causing resentment among front-line officers. After 1 January 1917, commanders in the field were instructed to recommend this award only for those serving under fire.
From 1916, ribbon bars could be authorised for subsequent awards of the DSO, worn on the ribbon of the original award. In 1942, the award was extended to officers of the Merchant Navy who had performed acts of gallantry while under enemy attack. A requirement that the order could be given only to someone mentioned in despatches was removed in 1943.
Since 1993, reflecting the review of the British honours system which recommended removing distinctions of rank in respect of operational awards, the DSO has been open to all ranks, with the award criteria redefined as 'highly successful command and leadership during active operations'. At the same time, the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross was introduced as the second highest award for gallantry. Despite some very fierce campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the DSO has yet to be awarded to a non-commissioned rank.
The DSO had also been awarded by Commonwealth countries but by the 1990s most, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, were establishing their own honours systems and no longer recommended British honoursecipients of the order are officially known as Companions of the Distinguished Service Order, and are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "DSO". All awards are announced in the London Gazette.
The medal signifying the award of the DSO is a silver-gilt (gold until 1889) cross with curved ends, 1.6 in (4.1 cm) wide, enamelled white and edged in gilt.It is manufactured by Messrs Garrard & Co, the Crown Jewellers.
In the centre of the obverse, within a green enamelled laurel wreath, is the imperial crown in gold upon a red enamelled background. The reverse has the royal cypher of the reigning monarch in gold within a similar wreath and background.
A ring at the top of the medal attaches to a ring at the bottom of a gilt suspension bar, ornamented with laurel. Since 1938 the year of award engraved on the back of the suspension bar. At the top of the ribbon is a second gilt bar ornamented with laurel.
The medals are issued unnamed but some recipients have had their names engraved on the reverse of the suspension bar.
The red ribbon is 1.125 in (2.86 cm) wide with narrow blue edges.
The bar for an additional award is plain gold with an Imperial Crown in the centre. Since about 1938, the year of the award has been engraved on the back of the bar. A rosette is worn on the ribbon in undress uniform to signify the award of each bar.
Between 1939-1946, 4880 DSO's were issued in the Second World War.
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