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Merit Medal of the Republic: Its Origin and Classes

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Let’s have a little talk about this mysterious “Merit Medal”.

This so-called Chinese Republic Merit Medal which is also known as

Merit Medal of the Republic

Silver Merit Medal of the Republic

Medal for Military Merit

Original inscription on the medal obverse (this could be translated as “Medal of the Republic of China”)

Edited by JapanX

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Most likely this medal was created on April 9, 1913 in four classes. At least according to the only (?) published source about this decoration – “Orden aus aller Welt Sammlung Tammann 80. Auktion Katalog, 4-5 November 2008, p.178”. In turn compilers of this catalogue used “The China Year Book, Chicago 1916”, “The China Year Book, Chicago 1920” and “Who’s Who in China, 3rd edition, Shanghai, 1925”. Since this medal wasn’t listed in “The China Year Book of 1920” they concluded that: “It seems that it was distributed after that year by only Sun Yat-sen’s Government in Canton. The maker’s name and the date are indeed typical for decorations by the Canton Government”. There, that’s all we have.

Now let’s take a look at different classes and variations of this interesting medal. Since we don’t have any precise information about design of different classes of this medal I think it will be a good idea to avoid naïve (and possibly incorrect) labeling. That’s why instead of class I will use the word variation.

Edited by JapanX

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Marked specimen on the left was described in Tammann 2008 catalogue as

“2nd class” and catalogue creators stated that “2nd class was for lower officers”….

Edited by JapanX

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Variation C

Edited by JapanX

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All three variations in one gallery – for comparison analysis.

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I believe that design of all these later medals (Hupei Medal, Shanxi Warlord Medal, Hunan Province Medal, etc… see ) were based on this “nation-wide” medal.

Regards,

Nick

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And another little (and obvious) remark - it looks like these medals in every class have two variations of central medallions

Edited by JapanX

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Variation A seems to be Japanese influenced. The flower is typical design for the Japanese way of drawing out the cherry blossom. The plum blossom would be fully rounded petals.

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Check this out ;)

Interesting example.

Exquisit workmanship.

Variation A.

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It seems that our man Chang Tso-Lin had variation C in his bar ;)

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Another example of Variation A (on wrong ribbon)

Obverse

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Reverse (note the number... most likely fake one ;))

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Number close up (actually right in the middle we see I istead of 1 ;) )

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Fake doc (that what you can do out of simple box for noodles)

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Fake doc has number 2601

Medal has fake number 2106

Looks like somebody was too excited :lol:

Cheers,

Nick

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Interesting example of cased Variation A (thick type inscription)

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