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Title 1908 Messina earthquake medal
Nationality Italian
Period c 1908

This is the merit medal awarded by the Italian government to senior figures in both their own forces/civil service and foreign navies for helping to organise the relief for the Messina earthquake which affected Calabria and Sicily to the tune of some 150,000 casualties. In this format (diameter approx 35mm), about 300 were issued.

One medal of this size in gold is known for the Russian navy. The Royal Navy (British) received several thousand of the smaller award as a commemorative medal and thanks from the Italian government for their services in shore parties and medical relief. The Mediterranean fleet was on exercises at the time in the neighbourhood of Malta and was thus able to extensively aid the Italians in their dire plight.

The condition is excellent, although the ribbon is missing. As award medals to be worn, this has to be among the rarest of the rare!

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Militaria : Medals : Italian : 20th Century]


The tropical belt and buckle turned up on time and I am very happy with it and it has been a pleasure doing business with you.

D F, UK, 16.03.2016

[From a vendor, rather than a buyer]

I'm delighted that you are happy with the badge and I hope you can sell it to someone who will value owning it.

I tried to sell it on eBay but they won't accept Nazi items. I then contacted several dealers via a Google search who mostly offered me 40-50 after some haggling. Most of the other dealers tried to conceal its true value in their replies and also lacked manners which doesn't inspire confidence.

Ultimately it's about trust. I should think that most prospective sellers have done their own research and therefore know roughly what their item is worth. You were the only dealer who had the integrity to concede that my valuation was approximately correct and I respect your comment that you can't offer this as you need to make a profit. Your honest approach is greatly appreciated and I felt comfortable taking the risk in sending it to you.

Thank you for a smooth transaction

C D, UK, 01.07.2015