‘Very rare’ WWI medal tops high estimate at auction

A 1918 “Advance of Flanders” silver medal described by auctioneers as “a very rare type” sold for $360, topping its high estimate of $250, in an April 22 sale by Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

From the collection of Pennsylvania numismatist Richard Jewell, the 70-millimetre medal depicts a soldier holding a rifle and advancing to the right of a battlefield on the obverse. The reverse shows King Albert and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium riding horses alongside troops entering Brussels.

Designed by Belgian artist Hippolyte Leroy, the medal was described by auctioneers as being in Choice Almost Uncirculated condition.

The Advance of Flanders – an Allied victory also known as the Fifth Battle of Ypres – took place toward the end of the First World War and “saw the further disenchantment of the German war effort and a consolidation of the coalition, which would ultimately result in total surrender just a month later,” adds the lot listing.

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