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CHING DYNASTY GOLD MEDAL TO FRENCH REAR-ADMIRAL


KIMKAN
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Dear all,

A very interesting Ching dynasty gold medal will be offered at public auction on April 11th in Paris by the auction house of Thierry de Maigret, under number 337.

Though wrongly cataloged as being a first type Double Dragon, this gold medal was awarded to French rear-admiral Henri Martineau des Chesnez (1816-1904).

Another extraordinary Chinese piece of history that will feed a very rich April auction calendar (Hong Kong, London, Paris....you name it, you get it...)

http://www.thierrydemaigret.com/html/fiche.jsp?id=3807656&np=1&lng=fr&npp=10000&ordre=&aff=&r=

Regards to all.

KimKan

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Dear all,

Please tighten your seat belt !

The medal went for an astonishing 75,000 Euros + auction fees and taxes, i.e a grand total of about 92,000 Euros or 127,000 US$ to fork out ! This incredible price was apparently hit through web bid, not through physical bid in the auction room.

Assuming it will be paid (so many ghost buyers when it comes to China-related auctions), this is definitely a new milestone in the small world of Chinese orders, decorations and medals.

Regards to all

KimKan

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Imperial Chinese orders still have some way to go to match the prices of Imperial Russian orders. Even more so given the relative scarcity of the two.

High-end Russian items like White Eagle sash badges and 1st Class St Vladimir sets regularly break the 100,000 euro mark, not including buyers premium.

The only Chinese order I'm aware of that broke that price level in recent years was the Chiang Kai Shek attributed Blue Sky and White Sun that sold for USD 1 million.

I think there are a number of factors:

* Russian orders are widely admired as the pinnacle of beauty and craftsmanship

* they are held in high regard by European (and American) collectors which comprise the vast majority of collectors

* ODM has only emerged as a collecting interest in China in recent years

That said, the number of collectors in China is growing. We've sold some 90 copies of the Order of the Double Dragon book through direct, word-of-mouth sales to Chinese collectors alone - quite astounding given the book is written almost entirely in English.

We know that around 1000 First Type and 4000 Second Type Double Dragons were awarded between 1882-1912. Within this, the Third Class were the most common, followed by the Second Class. The First Class is very rare and Fourth and Fifth Class almost never encountered.

There is no information on numbers of Bao Xing awards. I would guess the number of awards would be very low. Only a handful have appeared at auction over the last few years.

Nick - would you have a sense of the comparative scarcity of Qing and Imperial Russian orders? Werlich unfortunately doesn't give numbers of awards.

Edited by drclaw
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I think there are a number of factors:

* Russian orders are widely admired as the pinnacle of beauty and craftsmanship

* they are held in high regard by European (and American) collectors which comprise the vast majority of collectors

* ODM has only emerged as a collecting interest in China in recent years

I think there was only one main price driver of Imperial Russian orders in the last 15 years - wealthy russian collectors (pseudo patriotic nouveau riches).

Same story with Imperial China "stuff".

Again we have wealthy and super wealthy mainland chinese collectors.

Often they don't even know much about this "stuff" and its "fair price", but have a lot of money and spare time ...

That's why chinese vases went for more than 50 000 000 pounds ;)

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  • 11 months later...

Dear all,

This is it, this magnificent gold Chinese medal had to be auctioned off again as the mysterious April 2014 bidder never turned up to pay the 92,000 Euros he committed to. It was presented again on April 3rd 2015 by the same auction house in Paris and went for circa 28.000 Euros, all fees included. Still a nice price and an absolutely incredible piece with a solid pedigree. This is just one third of what it apparently went for one year ago as deposits and guarantees were required by the auction house to secure the transaction. A penny in your pocket is still better than a shilling in your dreams...

Regards to all.

KimKan

 

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Yes, I can see why that China Poly Auctions demands such a big deposit for bidding. It seems some folks still haven't caught onto the fact that bidding at an auction carries with it an obligation to pay. 

I wonder if auction houses might now be requiring deposits from certain client demographics given past experience. 

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Certainly it is a problem, while we will ask for references if a new client wishes to bid on a high end item, but with the internet buyers some of the sites are not that good at monitoring potential problems and that is the area where problems most frequently occur.

 

Paul

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