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Carol I

Manchukuo: Order of Orchid Blossom

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Do you have information on the Order of Orchid Blossom from Manchukuo? All I know is that it was the premier order of the Manchurian state. Thanks.

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I presume Puyi wears the collar of the Order of the Orchid Blossom in this photo from Wikipedia. :unsure:

Hi Carol I,

Yes, indeed. The collar is from the Order as is the large breast star in the senior position.

The order, like all the Mancurian decorations, was very closely modelled on the Japanese system. In organisation and award it was almost identical to the Japanese Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum.

Ta Hsun Wei Lanhua Chang (the Supreme Order of the Orchid Blossoms): founded by Emperor Kang Teh of Manchuria on 19th April 1934. Awarded in two classes:

  • 1. Ta Hsun Wei Lanhua Chang King-shin (Grand Collar) - given to foreign Heads of State or nationals who were already holders of the Grand Cordon.
  • 2. Ta Hsun Wei Lanhua Chang Ta-shou (Grand Cordon) - bestowed only on those who already held the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Ray of the Dragon.
As it so happens, "your great-grand nephew", King Michael of Rumania is the only living recipient. Rumania having recognised the 'Empire of Manchuria', an exchange of decorations took place in late February 1941. King Michael receiving the Grand Collar of the Supreme Order of the Orchid Blossom in exchange for the Order of Carol I which he gave to the Emperor. I wonder whatever happened to the insignia? Have you come across them? Must be as rare as hen's teeth!

Cheers,

James

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Thanks James for the reply. Indeed I have come across the insignia. It is in an exhibition at the National History Museum. ;)

afis6.jpg

The funny thing is that according to a newspaper article the museum officials do not know who the recipient of the order was. They took a guess between King Carol II, King Mihai and Prime Minister Antonescu. I excluded Carol II because of the dates, so I had two choices left. According to your information, if the recipient was King Michael there must also be a collar somewhere. But was coud it be that he only received the Grand Cordon? May I ask what is your source of the information? I could write to the museum and let them know who the recipient really was.

:beer:

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Thanks James for the reply. Indeed I have come across the insignia. It is in an exhibition at the National History Museum. ;)

afis6.jpg

The funny thing is that according to a newspaper article the museum officials do not know who the recipient of the order was. They took a guess between King Carol II, King Mihai and Prime Minister Antonescu. I excluded Carol II because of the dates, so I had two choices left. According to your information, if the recipient was King Michael there must also be a collar somewhere. But was coud it be that he only received the Grand Cordon? May I ask what is your source of the information? I could write to the museum and let them know who the recipient really was.

:beer:

I do not have the title in front of me, but the Manchurian State used to issue a thick green propaganda volume every year stacked full of statistics and diplomatic comings and goings. I will see if I can find the exact title.

It is highly possible that the Grand Cordon was conferred on someone like Marshal Antonescu. It is unlikely that the King would have received it. The Japanese were absolute sticklers for status symbols and 'correct form', so they would not have even dreamt of giveng the king a junior class decoration. Especially since recognitions of the Manchurain state were pretty thin on the ground at the time.

I am not sure what the full set of insignia for the Grand Collar was as I have only ever seen the Grand Cordon (the white circular disks should be pearls) but suspect that there is no riband, only collar, collar badge and breast star. If you look at the Emperor's breast star in your picture, the design of the centre isn't quite the same as this colour photograph. But then perhaps that is because he was the sovereign.

Cheers,

James

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Thanks again, James. I agree that a Grand Cordon would be more appropriate for the Prime Minister of the time than for the King, however it would still require a confirmation. If you can find the reference or at least the information regarding the name of the recipients it would be great.

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Thanks again, James. I agree that a Grand Cordon would be more appropriate for the Prime Minister of the time than for the King, however it would still require a confirmation. If you can find the reference or at least the information regarding the name of the recipients it would be great.

There was no list of recipients. The only people mentioned in regard to decorations were King Michael of Rumania and Emperor Kang Teh of Manchuria.

Perhaps you should have a look in Rumanian newspapers of the period (February 1941).

Cheers,

James

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There was no list of recipients. The only people mentioned in regard to decorations were King Michael of Rumania and Emperor Kang Teh of Manchuria.

Perhaps you should have a look in Rumanian newspapers of the period (February 1941).

Thanks, James. I'll try to see if this leads anywhere. You've given quite a lot of useful information on this rare order and even on the Romanian recipients.

:beer:

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I am not sure what the full set of insignia for the Grand Collar was as I have only ever seen the Grand Cordon (the white circular disks should be pearls) but suspect that there is no riband, only collar, collar badge and breast star.

James, here is an image of the collar of this order.

collarorchidbloomel8.jpg

On display in the treasury of the National History Museum was the collar, sash and sash badge and the star of the order. However, I do not know whether these items came from two sets (a Grand Cordon and a Grand Collar) or only from the Grand Collar set.

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:love: No collector of Manchukuo awards could wish for more than that.

Thank's for the picture of this eye candy.

The collar is unobtainable, of course.

But what's with sash badge + breast star? As far as I know some of them are in private hands but I don't recall that one was ever sold. Nick, any info on that?

The design choice for the collar is quite interesting:

-incorporating the sign of the illustrious dragon

- bears the same symbol as the Mongolian order of the polar star

It looks like the upper part of the grand cross badge was made from the same die as the upper part of the auspicious clouds.

Even the rosette bears a pearl!

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:love: No collector of Manchukuo awards could wish for more than that.

Thank's for the picture of this eye candy.

You're welcome.

The collar is unobtainable, of course.

But what's with sash badge + breast star? As far as I know some of them are in private hands but I don't recall that one was ever sold. Nick, any info on that?

The sets were in an exhibition in the Treasury of the National History Museum, so none of these were in private hands (at least at that time).

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The collar is unobtainable, of course.

Why?

It is obtainable of course.

Even in original case :lol:

Unfortunately we are talking about 6-digit sum :whistle:

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So there is a collar on the private market - which one?

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Let's put it this way - it's not Aisin-Gioro collar, Hirohito collar or Ferdinand I collar...

Bet you are thinking - it is a crime and shame not to put such treasure at eBay :lol:

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Ferdinand I collar...

You mean Michael, right? Ferdinand I died in 1927.

So, who's left? I was under the impression that Puyi, Hirohito and Michael were the only recipients of the collar.

No, no, it's only a crime and shame that such a treasure isn't in my collection :lol:

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You mean Michael, right? Ferdinand I died in 1927.

Oooops

I was under the impression that Puyi, Hirohito and Michael were the only recipients of the collar.

Why? :whistle:

No, no, it's only a crime and shame that such a treasure isn't in my collection :lol:

Yea, right :lol:

Edited by JapanX

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