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drclaw

Presidential Inauguration Medals

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We've seen these appear on a fairly regular basis. Unfortunately, I've not been able to find much by way of information on these medals.

Many references refer to these medals as "Presidential Inauguration Medals". The dates on the medals however refer to an anniversary of the 10 October 1911 Wuchang Uprising that launched the 1911 Revolution.

The date on Yuan Shikai's medal is 10 October 1913, Xu Shichang's is 10 October 1918 and Cao Kun's is 10 October 1923.

So I'm wondering whether these were more a commemoration of anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising Medal than a Presidential Inauguration Medal per se.

Other questions: How many were issued? To whom were they awarded to?

Here's a list of the Presidents of the Early Republic:

* Yuan Shikai (1912-16)

* Li Yuanhong (1916-17)

* Feng Guozhang (1917-18)

* Xu Shichang (1918-22)

* Zhuo Ziqi (1922)

* Li Yuanhong (second Presidency) (1922-23)

* Gao Lingwei (1923)

* Cao Kun (1923-24)

* Huang Fu (1924)

* Duan Qirui (1924-26)

* Hu Weide (1926)

* Yan Huiqing (1926)

* Du Xigui (1926)

* Gu Weijun (1926-27)

* Zhang Zuolin (1927-28)

That's why it's called the Warlord Era! With the exceptions of Yuan Shikai and Xu Shichang, most of the others barely lasted 18 months.

Let's see how many Inauguration Medals we can identify.

I'll start the ball rolling with two excellent offerings from Morton and Eden's upcoming 2 July Orders, Decorations and Medals auction.

Yuan Shikai Inauguration Medal

"Yuan Shikai Inauguration, October 1913, commemorative medal, in silver-gilt and enamels, with central photographic-style portrait of Yuan Shikai, width 40mm, in case of issue with original riband, good very fine."

Comment: The characters on the medal are in traditional seal script. The date is "Mingguo er nian shi yue shi re" or Republic 2nd Year 10th Month 10th Day (i.e. 10 October, 1913). The 1st Year of the Republic is 1912. Yuan Shikai was sworn in as Provisional President of the Republic on 10 March 1912. That might be consistent with why the medal is dated the year later 1913.

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_06_2014/post-11630-0-72719500-1403646859.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_06_2014/post-11630-0-65811800-1403646873.jpg

Edited by drclaw

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Xu Shichang Inauguration Medal

"Xu Shichang Inauguration, October 1918, commemorative medal, in silver-gilt and enamels, with central photographic-style portrait of Xu Shichang, width 40mm, with original riband, good very fine."

Comment: The seal script inscription on the medal has the date "Mingguo qi nian shi yue shi re" or Republic 7th Year 10th Month 10th Day (i.e. 10 October, 1918).

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_06_2014/post-11630-0-62717900-1403647302.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_06_2014/post-11630-0-17516600-1403647320.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_06_2014/post-11630-0-60143700-1403647336.jpg

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Cao Kun Inauguration Medal

From the Morton and Eden and OMSA archives.

Cao Kun infamously bribed Assembly members 5000 silver dollars each to elect him President. The silver dollars may or may not have included a portrait of himself ...

The date on the medal is the 12th year 10th month 10th day, i.e. 10 October 1923.

Of course, 10 October 1911 is the date of the Wuchang Uprising that started the 1911 Revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty.

Edited by drclaw

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Dear all,

The best research paper I have ever come across on this topic is an 18-pages long article put together by Mr. King Kwok and published in the January-February 2004 - Volume 55 - Number 1 issue of the JOMSA. Extremely interesting and well documented paper indeed. Mr. Kwok reaches the conclusion that lack of known offiicial documentation does not permit to establish award criterias and number of medals issued.

The article shows six different medals (of which two for Yuan Shi Kai as a special medal for the Navy was issued), including the two beautiful pieces that Morton & Eden will auction off on July 2nd . As a result, five Chinese presidents semm to have an inauguration medal. How about the others ? Possibly not as the Harry H. Mohler census of these medals does not exceed that number as well.

Regards to all.

KimKan

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Thanks for this great information KimKan. I wasn't aware of King's article so will track down a copy through OMSA.

King's articles are always meticulously researched so if he's written a paper on this, that will be the definitive work.

The Chinese language reference catalogue I have lists some three dozen medals that they describe as: 纪念章 (ji nian zhang) These include the Presidential Inauguration Medals that we've seen, as well as other commemoration medals including those bearing the image of a President.

= historical

= commemoration

= medal

This inscription is also found on the case of the Yuan Shikai Inauguration Medal.

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Feng Guozhang Inauguration Medal

From the Harry Mohler Collection at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Courtesy of our friend Richard La Tondre and OMSA.

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Li Yuanhong Inauguration Medal

From the Harry Mohler Collection at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Courtesy of Richard La Tondre and OMSA.

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Here's a photograph of Cao Kun who was President in 1923-24. On the top left breast are three inauguration medals bearing the portraits of three of the first four Presidents of the Republic.

From right to left: Xu Shichang, Feng Guozang and Yuan Shikai.

But where's Li Yuanhong - who was President between Yuan Shikai and Feng Guozhang, and again 1922-23 after Xu Shichang?

During Li's second Presidency, Cao Kun and his lieutenant Wu Beifu forced Li from office. He obviously had little respect for Li. Hence Li's portrait medal is missing from the row of Presidential Inauguration Medals on Cao Kun's chest!

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