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Double Dragon 1st type, 2nd class, 3rd grade at eBay


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Stunning piece! I've never encountered a Chinese makers' mark on a Second Type Double Dragon, but this is the second one I've seen on a First Type Double Dragon.

I can't make out the top character but the last two are tian (Heaven) and bao (Precious).

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Cool!

Thanks Oleg! ;)

So what we have here is one of the oldest Shanghai workshops that is still active today.

裘 - fur/(as surname) Zu

天 - heaven/unshakable beginning/season/day

寳 - treasure/precious

P.S. Any ideas about mark in post # 11?

Edited by JapanX
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That is REMARKABLE! Not only have we identified a maker of the Double Dragon, they're still operating today!

Incidentally, the Proposal and Statutes for Amending the Order of the Double Dragon Design, dated 13 March 1897, stated: 'The insignia would be produced by “the best craftsmen from Tianjin and Shanghai using western moulds for silver decorations to achieve a very fine finishing”.

We know the First Type Double Dragons were awarded as late as 1901/1902 before being replaced by the Second Type in 1902.

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Dear all,

The auction drclaw is mentioning took place in Paris on November 13th and 14th 2012. The auction house was that of Beaussant Lefèvre and the auction expert was Mr. Jean-Christophe Paltey. This ODD 1st type was auctioned off under number 368 with an estimate of 10,000 to 12,000 Euros. It did not reach that price and went for 8,000 Euros plus circa 23% fees and taxes, i.e a final tag of 9,800 Euros. The badge was in pretty bad shape and the engraved name mentioning the house of Man Wah Liu looked very much like a later personnal add-on, not an original maker's mark. However, there is not an inch of a doubt that this badge was once a beautiful and genuine neck badge with too many petty cottage modifications (ugly pin on reverse, removal of suspension loop etc...) to attract the usual sky-high prices that have recently been observed.

Regards.

KimKan

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Thanks very much KimKan.

It's not all that easy to tell from the photograph alone so this is very useful information. The conversion from a neck badge to a breast badge is interesting, possibly to convert it into a jewellery broach.

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It's not all that easy to tell from the photograph alone so this is very useful information.

Especially when there is no photo of reverse ;)

One thing is for sure - one pretty steady hand made this engraving.

Thanks for info about translation of this mark KimKan!

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Dear all,

The conversion from neck badge to breast star could almost not be avoided as these first type ODD were perhaps the largest and heaviest neck badges ever made. Every now and then, we can see pictures of famous people wearing two or three neck badges at the same time and this 1st type ODD leaving limited space to the others. That was a frustrating situation indeed. This observation is still relevant when it comes to the 2nd type ODD, still a large and impressive badge after any medal standard, hence the breast star conversion that immediately comes to mind. I have recently come across a French-made 2nd type 3rd Class ODD badge made by the house of Bacqueville in Paris that comprises both the back pin to wear it as a star AND a suspension loop to wear it as a neck badge, both devices being absolutely original and provided "as is" by this famous maker. This testifies to the fact that this neck versus breast ODD badge issue was not a passing whim but something that makers had to take into account to satisfy their customers. I am not aware of any other similar situation in the world of orders and decorations.

Regards

KimKan

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Hi KimKan,

Would it be possible to share any images of the Bacqueville 2nd Type 3rd Class?

I've only ever seen the 2nd Class and find the Bacqueville Dragons especially beautiful. The sash badges for the 2nd Class have the arms enamelled in white as opposed to plain silver.

Regarding the size of the 1st Type 3rd Class neck badges, there seems to be enormous variation. Most are tiny at around 50-60 mm in diameter (compared to 89 mm for the 2nd Type 3rd Class) yet some photographs of recipients show very large badges.

Is it possible that the sizes of the 1st Type badges shrank over time?

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  • 1 month later...

Dear all,

I am trying to plug in three pictures of a very beautiful 2nd type 3rd Class 1st grade ODD badge made by the house of Bacqueville in Paris. Worthy of note is the fact that the reverse side clearly shows that both a suspension hook and a breat star pin were provided by this silversmith. A 3rd class ODD badge is a neck badge. However, as a reminder of the good old 1st type days, a breast star pin was also provided as these Chinese neck badges were frequently modified not to be worn around the neck due to their size and weight.

Hope you will find this interesting.

Regards

KimKan

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Thanks for sharing this. It's a beautiful piece indeed. I've only ever seen the Bacqueville 2nd Class.

The star corpus is also what I've theorised to be the Early Second Type variation. Each point is composed of five groups of three rays, as opposed to three groups of three rays which is the most often encountered.

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