Medal, Operations in East Africa Commemorative

An Italian Operations in East Africa Commemorative Medal (Medaglia Commemorativa delle Operazioni in Africa Orientale). The circular bronze medal was originally gilt, but only very small parts of this gilding remains. The obverse features a left facing profile of King Vittorio Emanuele III. " VITT.EM.III.RE.D'ITALIA.IMP.DI.ETIOPIA " is marked around the edge. A sword with a wrapped in laurel with "FERT" marked on the hilt is mounted on the ribbon. The reverse features a rugged landscape. " AFRICA ORIENTALE / MOLTI NEMICI / MOLTO ONORE " is marked on the reverse and a copy of Benito Mussolini's signature near the bottom. The blue and black striped ribbon is attached to the medal by an integral suspension ring.
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Medals like this one were " instituted on 27 April 1936 for those involved in the conquest and occupation of Ethiopia in the face of international condemnation." Source:  This medal was gifted to Taranaki Museum as part of a large collection made by prominent south Taranaki lawyer John Houston.
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