Beautiful blue Order of the Double Dragon gets collectors fired up at medals auction


2015-06-26 12:26:31


Beautiful blue Order of the Double Dragon gets collectors fired up at medals auction

The Chinese decoration almost tripled expectations at Morton & Eden, alongside Russian rarities

The results have arrived for Morton & Eden's much anticipated medals auction. These are almost always unmissable events for committed collectors as there are always spectacular lots on offer.

Previously they've broken records with them, notably with the 1.32m ($2.22m) achieved for a Russian Order of St Andrew sold last summer.

There were a number of fine Russian medals in this auction too, including an Order of St Vladimir, Second Class set of insignia, by Wilhelm Keibel, St Petersburg, 1863.

This comprises two pieces: a neck badge and breast star. The neck badge is composed in gold and enamels with Imperial Warrant and maker's mark beneath the enamel. It is clearly dated on the suspension ring and measures 52.3mm by 47.2mm.

The breast star consists of parcel-gilt silver and enamels, marked on the backplate and brooch-pin and measuring 88mm in diameter. The badge has light overall wear, but it is good very fine whilst the star has chips to enamel, and is otherwise good very fine.

Listed at 30,000-50,000, it squeaked past this to 55,000 ($89,600).

Chinese Order Double DragonChinese Order Double Dragon (Type 1, Fourth Class)

However, the real surprise of the sale was a Chinese Order of the Double Dragon, Type 1 (1882-1902). The Fourth Class neck badge, in silver-gilt and enamels, with central blue stone, has three Chinese characters stamped on reverse.

Undeniably a thing of beauty, it was offered in a contemporary lined wooden fitted case, with a silver plaque on lid bearing an RTC monogram. This indicated the initials of owner Captain R T Creighton of his Excellent Majesty's Imperial Customs.

Listed at a cautious 10,000-15,000 it sparked a bidding war and eventually sold for 40,000 ($65,200).

Russian medals have been a part of an extremely strong market in recent years, (at the vanguard of the general surge in Russian collectibles) but the Chinese medals market has been coming along in leaps and bounds too, providing a variety of opportunities for those who collect items as alternative investments.

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