As we've reported, coin-specialists Baldwin's are holding one of their spectacular auctions in Hong Kong early next month, and this time it won't just include coins, but also some beautiful timepieces.
However, with all that's going on it would be easy to overlook one or two exceptional medals which are going under the hammer. One variant of a familiar kind may prove to be a spectacular investment.
This is a Qing Dynasty Order of the Double Dragon - an apparent Transitional Type (c.1900), Third Class, Second Grade neck badge in gold.
The obverse shows an egret feathered field in blue with central cabochon sapphire on both sides and measures 39mm x 67mm including ring suspension. It also weighs 36.1g, with segment of beautiful original neck ribbon and modern lanyard.
There is some loss of surface feathering; otherwise it is extremely fine and extremely rare, particularly with the ribbon.
The Order of the Double Dragon was instituted by Emperor Kuangsi on the 7th of February, 1882, as an award for meritorious services to the Throne. Initially it was awarded exclusively to foreigners, but its scope was later extended to include Chinese subjects from 1908.
This particular Order was awarded to Brigadier General F W B Gray CMG DSO (1867-1931), c.1901, for services rendered as Captain with the 3rd Brigade, 4th Punjab Infantry - part of the China Field Force during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900.
He is noted as having been present during the action at Tai Tao Ying. The order will sell for US$70,000-90,000 in Baldwin's auction which takes place on April 7.
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