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Object Detail

A New Zealand Cross complete with presentation case. The medal features a silver Maltese cross with a gold laurel wreath around a central circle. " NEW ZEALAND " is written on this circle. Each arm of the cross has a six pointed gold star on it and the top arm is surmounted by a crown. The cross is attached to a "V" link on a silver suspension bar with a gold laurel on it. The ribbon is crimson and has a pin at the top. " Captain Francis Joseph Mace / Taranaki / Militia " is engraved on the reverse of the cross.The presentation case for the cross has a red leather covering with gold details. The cross sits in an inset navy base in the case and the lid has a cream silk lining. " PHILLIPS / 23 COCKSPUR ST / LONDON" is printed on the lining beneath a crown. " PHILLIPS / COCKSPUR ST " is marked on the reverse of the bar.
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Captain Francis Joseph (Frank) Mace's New Zealand Cross marks his "conspicuous gallantry" during the Taranaki Wars. The New Zealand Cross was instituted by the New Zealand Governor in 1869 because the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest award for gallantry in war, was not available to locally raised troops. Only 23 New Zealand Crosses were ever awarded, making it one of the rarest military decorations in the world.
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