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eMedals-China, Qing Dynasty. An Order of the Imperial Dragon (Bao Xing Merit Medal), I Class Set, c.1875

Item: EG1244

China, Qing Dynasty. An Order of the Imperial Dragon (Bao Xing Merit Medal), I Class Set, c.1875

Price:

$120,000

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China, Qing Dynasty. An Order of the Imperial Dragon (Bao Xing Merit Medal), I Class Set, c.1875

eMedals is pleased to offer the rare precursor of the Order of the Double Dragon. Authorized by Imperial Decree in 1862 and designed in the Western Style to be awarded to both British as well as French government officials and civilians. Initially created to acknowledge those Western participants contributed to the defeat of the Taiping Rebellion between 1850 to 1864, the Bao Xing Merit Medal was influential in the design and creation of the later instituted Order of the Double Dragon in 1882.

In 24ct (tested) Gold and of the highest hand crafted quality and attention to detail with all figures, design, and characters hand carved from a single Gold disc, obverse depicting two dragons pursuing a central red cabochon denoting a first class award, outer border in a stylized "Thunder Scroll" design, reverse featuring Chinese characters stating Da Qing Yu Xi (Great Qing Imperially Awarded First Class Award), measuring 381. mm (w) x 54 mm (h - inclusive of Gold 'Thunder Scroll' suspension), 46.6 grams with a remarkably complete and intact tassel set which features a green braided knot (Yun Tou or Cloud Head knot) with parallel blue and red tassels, upper suspension composed of a secondary braided blue Yun Tou, over all near mint and extremely rare representing 1 of only 40 Gold medals issued. Accompanied by the possibly unique matching Gold Medal of the Order not previously seen on the Medals & Orders market, in thin die struck 24ct Gold (tested) depicting two dragons circling central Chinese stylized characters stating "Da Qing Yu Xi (Great Qing Imperially Awarded First Class Award), with "Thunder Scroll" border, measuring 41 mm (d), 11.3 grams, with minor edge knock from previous mounting, otherwise extremely fine.

Attributed to Professor Heinrich Dubus for his contributions to Chemistry at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. Born on July 13, 1824 in Wolfhagen near Kassel (central Germany). Beginning in 1838, he attended the Polytechnic School of Kassel where his chemistry teacher was Robert Bunsen, who later became one of the most influential German chemists. Debus eventually followed Bunsen to the University of Marburg in 1845, where in 1847 Debus became a licensed private teacher and Bunsen’s assistant. In November of 1848 Debus graduated as doctor of philosophy. Around this time he became friends with Edward Frankland and John Tyndall, also studying in Marburg, who went on to become a famous chemist and experimental physicist, respectively. Due to their influence, after earning his PhD in 1851, Debus moved to England, taking up residence there for the next 37 years. At the recommendation of Frankland and Tyndall, Debus succeeded the latter as a chemistry teacher at Queenwood College in Hampshire, remaining in this position until 1867. During this time he was elected a Fellow of the Chemical Society in 1859 and of the Royal Society in 1861. After leaving Queenwood, Debus taught as science master at Clifton College for the next three years, before being appointed chemistry lecturer at the medical school of Guy’s Hospital in London. Between 1871 and 1874 he acted as vice president of the Chemical Society. In 1873 Debus additionally became a professor of chemistry at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. He retained this position until his retirement in 1888. Debus then moved back to Kassel in Germany, yet kept ties to England through friends and societies, revisiting the country at least once a year. Debus died on December 9, 1915 at the age of 91.

Footnote: A similar version of the award, entitled "The Chinese First Class Gold Medal of Pao Hsing", was awarded to William Cartwright in 1868 for services in the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, was auctioned by Spink & Son Orders, Medals, and Decorations in April 2011. This confirms that the Bao Xing continued to be awarded several years after the capture of the Taiping capital Nanjing in 1864 and also awarded to those individuals unconnected with the suppression of the Taiping Rebellion.

This offering is a part of the "Dr. Albert Goodwin Collection", a preeminent assemblage of world Orders, Medals, and Decorations composed solely by Dr.Goodwin between 1946-1967. Dr. Goodwin had a successful career as an educator and prominent physician in New York as well as actively serving in both World Wars with the United States Medical Corps. He acted as both President and Vice-President of the Orders and Medals Society of America (OMSA) and is responsible for organizing their first convention in 1960. He maintained further membership with the American Society of Military Collectors, the International Orders Research Society, and the American Numismatic Society. His knowledge and passion for history and awards is evident in this meticulously compiled collection that is now available in its entirety for the first time exclusively on eMedals.com.

 

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