Estimate: 800 GBP
Price realized: 1100 GBP
Austria, Silver Medal of Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria, 1843, officially impressed in serif capitals (will. freih. keir = grant), struck to commemorate 50 years of the Grand Cross of the Order of Maria Theresa, obv., bust of Archduke Karl Ludwig left, signed i.d. boehm f. on below truncation, KARL LUDWIG ERZHERZOG VON OESTERRICH, rev., Grand Cross badge of the Order of Maria Theresa at centre, wreath of oak leaves around, date MDCCCXLIII below ribbons, 52.5 mm (Montenuovo no.2607), small rim bruise and has been cleaned, about extremely fine. Awarded to Major-General Sir William Keir Grant K.C.B., G.C.H., 6th Dragoon Guards, late 15th Light Dragoons, who became Colonel of the Royal Scots Greys. William Keir (later Keir Grant) was one of just eight Officers of the 15th Light Dragoons to receive the spectacular gold Ehrenmedaille für Englische Kavalleriste, expressly awarded by the Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II, for gallantry in saving him personally from capture by French forces at the Battle of Villers-en-Cauchies (which is variously spelled in historical records), near Cambrai, in 1794. As it so happened, Keir Grant was later to become the recipient of an equally rare honour – the Collar and insignia of the Order of the Lion and Sun of Persia - for commanding a major British military expedition to the 'Pirate Coast' on the south-eastern Persian Gulf. Having roundly defeated the enemy and pacified the pirate stronghold of Ras al-Khaimah, Keir Grant succeeded in securing an agreement with a number of important tribal leaders, leading to an historic Peace Treaty of 1820 which heralded local truces and the foundation of the Trucial Sheikhdoms as well as the abolition of the Slave Trade in the area. Modifications to the Treaty and a full revision many decades later, in 1892, contributed to an enhanced British presence in the Southern Gulf and important new relationships with the Trucial Sheikhdoms. A loose British Protectorate was to last until the gaining of their independence on 2 December 1970, in turn leading to the creation of the United Arab Emirates.