Beautiful blue Order of the Double Dragon gets collectors fired up at medals auction
The Chinese decoration almost tripled expectations at Morton & Eden, alongside Russian rarities
The results have arrived for Morton & Eden's much anticipated medals auction. These are almost always unmissable events for committed collectors as there are always spectacular lots on offer.
Previously they've broken records with them, notably with the £1.32m ($2.22m) achieved for a Russian Order of St Andrew sold last summer.
There were a number of fine Russian medals in this auction too, including an Order of St Vladimir, Second Class set of insignia, by Wilhelm Keibel, St Petersburg, 1863.
This comprises two pieces: a neck badge and breast star. The neck badge is composed in gold and enamels with Imperial Warrant and maker's mark beneath the enamel. It is clearly dated on the suspension ring and measures 52.3mm by 47.2mm.
The breast star consists of parcel-gilt silver and enamels, marked on the backplate and brooch-pin and measuring 88mm in diameter. The badge has light overall wear, but it is good very fine whilst the star has chips to enamel, and is otherwise good very fine.
Listed at £30,000-50,000, it squeaked past this to £55,000 ($89,600).
However, the real surprise of the sale was a Chinese Order of the Double Dragon, Type 1 (1882-1902). The Fourth Class neck badge, in silver-gilt and enamels, with central blue stone, has three Chinese characters stamped on reverse.
Undeniably a thing of beauty, it was offered in a contemporary lined wooden fitted case, with a silver plaque on lid bearing an RTC monogram. This indicated the initials of owner Captain R T Creighton of his Excellent Majesty's Imperial Customs.
Listed at a cautious £10,000-15,000 it sparked a bidding war and eventually sold for £40,000 ($65,200).
Russian medals have been a part of an extremely strong market in recent years, (at the vanguard of the general surge in Russian collectibles) but the Chinese medals market has been coming along in leaps and bounds too, providing a variety of opportunities for those who collect items as alternative investments.
- Click here to view our medals and militaria for sale
- Learn how you can get pleasure and profit by investing in gallantry medals
- Click here for all the latest Medals & Militaria news
Recent and related articles...
James Scully risked his life for hours rescuing a couple from a bombed house in WWII
E W G Gurr also served in the Royal Navy and trained to be a saboteur in case of a WWII invasion
· The Story of… The civilian courage award: The George Cross | 1 June 2011
The award for civilian gallantry is highly cherished by recipients and collectors alike
· Our Top Five... Medals of military escapees | 25 May 2011
Daring, determined and cunning, those who flee enemy captivity have exciting tales to tell
· Medals of the winner of a lost Victoria Cross bring $35,700 | 23 May 2011
Dix Noonan Webb's recent sale included a pair of Indian mutiny medals once awarded to a VC winner
Images: Morton & Eden