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GeorgeCL

Chinese Shanghai River Police badge

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Just picked this badge up at a bottle show here in New Mexico.

Had some interest to me because a Russian great Uncle was a policeman in Shanghai 1930's.

enameled flag in Green with a yellow cross and RP.

rest of the badge is silver has a small chinese mark on the reverse.

Ribbon on the bottom states Shanghai River police.

Anyone help with the time period?

Thanks

George

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Hi - George. Sometimes when you go to fleamarkets and small shows, you may be lucky and find something of value that others haven't recognised. With your Shangahai River Police badge, you have hit the jackpot !

During the early and middle part of the 19th. century, China had become very weak from internal problems and the West had quickly seized on this. Britain fought several wars with China and one of the results was the setting-up of Hong Kong as an independent territory. Other countries followed this pattern - the Portuguese with Macau and the US in 1844, when by the treaty of Nanjing, they were granted a concession on mainland China. Britain and other European countries were also granted trading rights and territory and in 1863 Britain and the US joined together to form the Shanghai International Settlement. France never did join - but others did and a total of eleven countries were represented.

The administration arm of the International Settlement was the Shangahai Municipal Council and under their control they had the Shanghai Municipal Police, the Fire Brigade and even a military force - the Shanghai Volunteer Corps. This Municipal Council was run entirely by white settlers and the first Chinese were not allowed until late 1920's. The seeds of their own destruction were sown when they allowed Chinese to settle within the territories borders and by the 1930's over one million were living in the City. Surprisingly, it was the only place that allowed Jewish refugees, fleeing from Germany, to settle without visas - this continued until the Japanese forbade any more in 1941. The Council continued until 1943 when the Japanese took full control and interned all foreigners. 1949 saw the return of Shanghai to the main Chinese Government.

Some years ago I had an elderly lady on staff whose husband had been an Inspector in the Force. She kindly gave me his cap badge and some other pieces. I still have the badge and will get it sent over to photograph. All of these badges are very rare and highly collected all over the World. The badge is of silver and the flags of the 11 Nations are in enamel. I show a badge, but it is not in colour. Value wise, I would feel £300 - £400 ( $ 480 - $ 650).

Now, we come to your Shanghai River Police badge. I have never heard of them - but they certainly existed and I show a picture of one of their small boats. They also had a larger launch - called 'Patrol'. The man shown looks to be wearing a uniform similar to a naval one of the time. This makes your badge incredibly rare and I can only estimate about £500 ($800) - as always you have to locate a buyer. My recommendation would be that you keep the badge - it can only increase in value in the future. Lookingv at the back, there is a mark and it is probably silver. I hope this info. is of help ?

I must credit http://chp-ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/GetFile.php - from whom I took the photos.

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The Shanghai River Police were established by Sir Robert HART,b 1935 Ireland,educated Queen's Belfast.Appointed Interpreter Consular Service in China then to Vice Consulate NingPo as Supernumery Interpreter,then British Consulate Canton,1863 Appointed Inspector General of Customs then Inspector General, Imperial Maritime Customs Service,this had been founded in 1854 and in 1907 became the Chinese Maritime Customs,ending in 1949.

In 1868 Hart asked his London Agent to recruit Seven men from the Thames Division,Metropoltan Police (London) for marine police duties in Shanghai.

By 1869 only six men had been recruited, Abbot,Farthing,Ferguson,Harris,Howell and Miller.Howell rose to be the Inspector commanding this small force,Miller left to become a Chief Lighthouse Keeper and died in post.Whilst the Shanghai Municipal Police were answerable to the Municipality Board of Directors,the Shanghai River police were answerable to the Inspectorate General of Customs.Shanghai.Sir Robert Hart retired in 1907.

A badge of the SRP,comparable to that which spawned this thread,was sold on eBay in May 2008 for GBP1561.00,accompanying it was an epaulette badge in white metal comprising a capital R and a capital P either side of an attached to an anchor.

May be of interest,I have the details of these men.- 1314

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Hi - 1314 - that was the additional information that we needed. I was particularly interested in the auction price - I knew that both the Police and the River Police badges would be valuable - but even I'm surprised at £1500. George should be VERY pleased - bargain of the century.

Welcome to GMIC - presumably you're not in prison (?) give us something else to call you by ....

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Thanks for the Great info on the badge.

Here is a photo of my great uncle, Boris Zoudilov, in his uniform.

George

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George - that's very interesting to see the uniform. What Nationality was your great uncle - was he one of the Countries represented in Shanghai ? What are you going to do with the badge - other then look after it very carefully ? If I might suggest - have it mounted under glass - photo at the top - then the badge - then some biographical details in laminated plastic. This will turn it into an 'heirloom' - I always tell people with family medals to do this.

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I promised to show the picture of the Inspector's badge when it arrived. The mounting is silver and the flags are enamelled.

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Hi George

I just joined this forum today.

I have a collection of around 60+ Shanghai Municipal Police, Shanghai Municipal Fire Brigade and Shanghai Volunteer Corps cap and helmet badges from the International Settlement period. I do not have your badge but I do have two nice portrait photographs of Shanghai River Police officers wearing peaked caps with your badge on them. I can copy them to you if you would like (free).

Both of the officers were Portuguese naionals.

If you ever wish to sell your badge - please contact me as I will give you a very good price for it !

Regards

Jolene (Shanghai Girl)

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George,

From the badge of your great uncle I would guess that he was in the French Concession Police as he is not wearing a badge from the main International Settlement run by the Shanghai Municipal Council.

Was he originally a Cossack with one of the White Russian Regiments that settled in Shanghai ?

Jolene (Shanghai Girl)

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Hello - 'Shanghaigirl' - George will no doubt reply to you when he sees your post - meanwhile - welcome to the Forum. Thank goodness you called yourself by this name and not 'Shanghai Lil' - who was of course a very notorious 'lady' in the history of the settlement.

There are so few dedicated collectors for the pre-war Shanghai units - the material is scarce. Perhaps you would post some of your collection and fill in the 'cracks' in our knowledge. Obviously , you are hoping for George's River Police badge - so, so rare. However, I personally would consider selling the officer's cap badge I illustrated. Let me know if any interest.

We don't seem to have many members in Hong Kong - what is your background ? The head office of a company I worked for in Bangkok in the '60's was in Hong Kong - lovely place - just too many people.

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Mervyn - i will post photos of my collection a few at a time. Your badge is an Inspectors cap badge and looks to be in very nice condition. They were manufactured in the UK and locally in Shanghai. UK ones usually have a hallmark and most of the local ones have a Chinese makers mark - usually HC - but some were unmarked. My SMP collection is relatively small. I have one helmet plate, four different cap badges, one collar badge, one shoulder title, numerous buttons, three different silver spoons, a pair of cufflinks, long service medals and a magnificent cigarette box presented to a retiree with the cap badge set in the lid. I also have two early Tientsin British Municipal Police cap badges - which I hae attached a photo of.

The medal collecting scene is quite active in Hong Kong but there are not many badge collectors.

If anyone does need any information on Shanghai or other Treaty Ports units please let me know and I will see what I can do.

Shanghai Girl

By the way - the Shanghai River Police badge that sold on Ebay was expensive because it came with the very rare shoulder title which pushed the price up. Also there were two well known collectors fighting over it ! I was not one of them - I don't get involved in bidding wars ! Hee Hee

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Mervyn,

I have posted another badge below :- SMP Officers helmet plate in brass.

By the way - have you ever seen a China 1900 medal to the 1st Chinese Regiment for sale in South Africa. In 1906 the majority of the 1st Chinese Regiment were sent to the Transvaal to become Police Officers and the majority settled down in South Africa.

Regards

Shanghai Girl

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Mervyn,

I forgot to ask what price you wanted for your cap badge ?

I noticed that you had estimated it between 300 and 400 pounds !

Shanghai Girl

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Hi - you've done it again! The rarity of the pieces you are showing cannot be stressed too much - we are very grateful for the opportunity to see them. The cap badge for Tientsin - yes, I have heard of them - don't recall seeing their badge before and I lived in the Far East for 3 1/2 years. I Googled them and there are just two small entries - please let us know a little more about them - when were they founded ? I expect they disappeared after the Japanese took over ? The Crown on the badge is an early form for Queen Victoria - even for King William 4th. (1830-37) - it will all depend when the Force was set-up in the Settlement.

The other lovely badge is the Helmet Plate for the Shanghai Municipal Police - have you seen other examples for this size ?

With regard to the China Medal for 1900 - no, I have never seen one for sale. Hopefully Will Endley will pick-up on this when he returns to work - he is the expert on Sth. African military of this period. We had a lot of Chinese living in Sth. Africa at the turn of the 20th. Century and maybe this Regt's men were brought over to Police the Chinese community ? They would not have been allowed to deal with the European population at that time. This is interesting and I hope other members will be able to help - and to comment.

Finally - a subject dear to my heart - money..... I obviously was guesstimating with prices for Shanghai - but, even I was surprised at how much the Boat badge brought. I take your point about the shoulder title, but even so, it shows what serious collectors' are prepared to pay for any rare item - they are an investment. I don't think I'm supposed to talk about selling things on the Forum - we have a special section. However, if you don't tell, then I will keep quiet as well. I would accept £700 for the badge - which is in excellent condition.

Once again - thankyou for livening-up this section. Do give a few more details about the different Territories. Best wishes Mervyn

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Hi Mervyn,

I have only seen one other SMP Helmet Plate and it is identical to mine. They originally went on a British Bobby style helmet but I believe these were all replaced in the early 1900s.

I have attached photos of the European NCO's SMP cap badge and the Chinese Constables SMP cap badge. They are both white metal - but with the Chinese Constables badge having the Latin and Chinese wording cut out ! I have also attached a photo of the shoulder title, officers collar badge and two officers buttons - small size.

I presume that you did not get a long service medal together with your cap badge ? I have a couple of examples and have been on the lookout for a SMP Specials long service medal and a SMP DCM - which is quite a rarity.

SG

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Great items - I for one am looking forward to seeing more of your collection. Please give a few more details on Tientsin enclave - I could find very little info. Mervyn

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Shanghai Municipal Police Chinese Constables Cap Badge

Hi Shanghai Girl - this is nothing to do with this thread but years ago you posted elsewhere an enquiry abou Shanghai Volunteer Corps items because you were writing a book on the Corps . I saw your post a long time after and responded but you must have moved on ( perhaps to this forum ?) because I never heard back .Did you ever complete the book ?? With respect to this thread my grandfather Ivon A Donnelly was a member of the Corps in the early 1900s and I have a good few photographs of him in uniform and a collection of SVC badges. I also have a Shanghai International Settlement flag that I inherited from my grandmother.

Regards

Tony

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Tony - welcome to GMIC. Shangahai Girl does not seem to have been 'on' since early January. Hopefully, she will return - meanwhile, we hope that you will put your photographs and items on the thread - they will be of great interest. Mervyn

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Hi Tony

I am alive and well but very busy !

I would love to know what SVC badges you have - I have about 35 different ones and therefore it may be easier for you to tell me what ones you have got rather than me listing all of mine.

Which SVC Company did your grandfather belong to ? I guess that he did not serve for too long as i cannot find him on the SVC long service medal roll.

I am positively jealous of your flag ! I know of a good home for it - if you ever want to give it up - ha ha.

Regards

Shanghai Girl

PS : A new book called Forgotten Regiments by Barry Renfrew has chapters on the SVC and other Chinese Treaty Ports Volunteer Corps.

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