Presented in the second installment of the M. Quigley Collection: Orders of the Japanese Empire & Associated States, this Order of the Orchid Blossom is one of three presented between 1934-1940 and is therefore of the utmost rarity. This rare order set sold for $32,223 USD in September 2023.
(Ta Hsun Wei Lan Hua Chang). Instituted April 1 1934 by Emperor Kang Teh of Manchuria. A supremely rare Order of the Orchid Blossom, the highest award issued by the Empire of Manchuria, Grand Cross Set, comprising a sash badge of silver gilt, featuring a large yellow orchid blossom with the space between each petal in green enamels with gilt veins and five pearls in each quadrant, the center features a large pearl, the badge is suspended by a yellow enamelled orchid blossom, the reverse of the badge is plain with the reverse of the suspension presenting characters translating to “Order of Merit Decoration”, marked M atop the integral loop of the suspension and the integral suspension loop of the badge denoting manufacture at the Osaka Mint, the badge measures 69.20 mm (w) x 109.00 mm (h- inclusive of suspension), weighs 108.2 grams, enamels intact, one replacement pearl, scattered gilt wear on the veins, an exceptionally rare decoration which remains in extremely fine condition. Accompanied by the sash of the order, in yellow and orange watered silk, with large rosette and metal clip for badge attachment, in near mint condition.
The Star of the Order, in silver gilt, a ten point star with alternating clusters of five smooth white enamel rays and seven faceted gilt rays, the obverse superimposed medallion presents the matching insignia to the badge, featuring a large yellow orchid blossom with the space between each petal in green enamels with gilt veins and five pearls in each quadrant, the center features a large pearl, the reverse presents four rivets with central characters translating to “Order of Merit Decoration”, the tip of each ray is reinforced, and offers a vertical pinback with dual stays, the star measures 90.45 mm (w) x 95.20 mm (h), weighs 135.4 grams, enamel crazing and discolouration on the 12 and 2 o’clock rays, enamels on the medallion are intact, displaying scattered gilt wear, center medallion slightly loose, hinge and catch functional, in very fine condition.