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drclaw last won the day on March 5 2012

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About drclaw

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    Alderaan is peaceful, we have no weapons
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    Wargaming, Chinese, Classical and Islamic History, pre-1945 Orders

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  1. I agree with Great Dane on the on the type, class, grade and with JapanX on the authenticity. As Great Dane notes, the top coral stone has been lost and the blue centre stone has been replaced. There is considerable enamel damage from the photos. The suspension (this should be a neck badge) has also been lost and you can see the damage on the reverse of the top star ray.
  2. Thanks for the pics. Liang Dunyan (the second and third images) is an interesting character. Graduate of Yale University, served as Foreign Minister in Prince Qing's cabinet, then later with Yuan Shikai. He supported Zhang Xun's failed monarchist restoration in July 1917. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liang_Dunyan Keith R - Cixi did award the Third Class Double Dragon to Katherine Carl in 1903 for painting a portrait of her so it is not inconceivable that Encarnacao might have received an award if "suggested" by Cixi's favourite foreigner Robert Hart. But it would seem unlikely that an award would have been given to Hart's bandmaster for a single performance.
  3. The enamelling of the dragons' eyes are a nice touch. Another way to identify the third class is the blue enamelling of the centre medallion. European-manufactured Second Type Double Dragons are sometimes encountered but very few have makers' marks on them. My favourite are the Bacqueville ones with green enamelling.
  4. Thanks for posting these fascinating pictures. The Qing official (2nd picture in post #2) has his Second Class Double Dragon attached next to his sash with a safety pin!
  5. drclaw

    Double Dragon

    I agree the OMSA picture is potentially confusing. If I was just going by the picture my initial thoughts would have been reproduction because of what appears to be an enamelled coral stone. The provenance of it being from the Harry Mohler collection would have made me reconsider given Mohler was an expert in Chinese medals. But on balance I would still think reproduction. This underlines the importance of provenance and the knowledge of a highly experienced expert like Paul from an auction house like Morton and Eden. I know Paul has personally handled and inspected scores of Double Dragons over decades. You simply can't put a value on that experience. It gives you the confidence to buy. Others include Dix Noonan Webb, Spink and Hermann Historica, Kuenker. Recently I was introduced to some French auction houses and was impressed by their knowledge and professionalism, particularly as they were advised by Jean-Christophe Palthey. A recent auction had a couple of First Type originals as well as reproductions, all carefully identified as such. Happy to have a look at the picture. Just email it through.
  6. drclaw

    Double Dragon

    Thanks for the nice comment! All the copies have now been sold thanks to JCwater. Regarding the Rothe reproductions, these typically have the centre stone enamelled / painted on as opposed to having an actual stone. I don't believe they were marked with the company's name, certainly none of the examples that I know of have been marked.
  7. Extraordinary pictures! Thanks for sharing. It's a little hard to tell from the photos but most of these appear quite genuine although you would want to inspect the Double Dragons very closely given the quality of the reproductions being made these days. How much for a Double Dragon star and that cased Striped Tiger (1st or 2nd Class?)?
  8. The Double Dragon looks like a First Type (1882-1901) Third Class Third Grade.
  9. Hello Frank, Long time no hear! YJA is short for Yahoo Japan Auctions where Chinese orders appear from time to time. I wrote an article in the White Eagle for the Journal of the Orders and Medals Society of America. It can be found in Volume 64 Nov-Dec 2013 Number 6.
  10. A pictorial history of China that I have simply has the caption "Manchu Princes resign en masse with the abdication of the monarchy". In the absence of more detailed information, we could probably date the photograph to February 1912, Beijing.
  11. It's been awhile since I looked at this but from memory what was fascinating was that for the Imperial badges, the plain tung leaves were for the higher ranks and the peony flowers for the lower ranks, yet when it came to the Republican badges, the order was reversed! So perhaps Yuan Shikai and his friends wanted the more showy peony flowers rather than the plainer tung flowers. And you're right, the Republican Rank and Merit very rarely appear for sale which is peculiar since practically every minor regional warlord received one. Perhaps it's the opposite of the Double Dragons where almost all the awards were to foreigners who then expatriated these overseas where they might be preserved from war and revolution. Very few if any foreigners received the Rank and Merit. They do very occasionally appear in China. The other fascinating thing was that for the Imperial badges, the actual and metaphorical "centre" of the badge was yellow for earth and the Emperor, whereas for the Republican badges, the centre became red for the Han Chinese!
  12. drclaw

    Double Dragon

    The First Class First Grade appears to be the same specimen that was sold in the 2008 Tammann collection auction.
  13. drclaw

    Double Dragon

    Glad to hear the book arrived safely! I really like your artists impression of the Second Type First Class First Grade. I'm not aware of any specimens but that's not to say one might not be lurking in a dusty cabinet in a palace museum somewhere. Regarding the First Type First Class Third Grade image above, it's a Rothe reproduction made in the 1960s. They occasionally crop up at auction. A certain auction house rather disingenuously labels them as "extremely rare of Austrian manufacture" or something along that line.
  14. drclaw

    Double Dragon

    Thanks for the plug Paul! Hi Alex, I still have a few copies of the book left (down to the last 20 actually). If you are interested, send me a PM. The cost is USD 25 + 12 postage. To answer your question on the different grades of the 3rd class, look at the ring surrounding the blue centre stone. For the 1st grade, five-petalled flowers. 2nd grade, T-shaped pattern. 3rd grade, M-shaped pattern. Gavin
  15. Thanks Glenn, this is much appreciated. The First Type Double Dragon neck badges were awarded right up to 1901. Breast stars were introduced around 1894 and there were a flurry of awards in 1896 to German citizens with the star corpus made by Godet. This likely coincided with the visit of Viceroy Li Hongzhang to Germany that year. It appears that where awards were conferred in Beijing, they were the First Type neck badge only.
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