The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Thursday, November 26, 2020

Important Thai Orders, medals and decorations to be sold at auction
King Prajadhipok’s First Class diamond-set gold breast badge.

LONDON.- The collection, which was assembled over a period of many years by a private collector from Scandinavia comprises 48 lots and is estimated to fetch in excess of £125,000 (lots 1455-1503).

Morton & Eden said: ‘We are delighted to be offering this specialist collection of Siamese and Thai Orders in our forthcoming sale. Many of the awards in this collection are exquisitely made, rare to the market, and in some cases unique. Furthermore some boast a royal provenance or attribution.’

The highlights include insignia of The Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao, Grand Cordon (Special Class), dating from the early 20th century. The Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao was founded by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) on 16 November 1873 to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Chakri dynasty. The insignia comprise an elaborate gold and enamelled collar, a sash/collar badge, with central portrait of Rama V and bearing in gold letters the motto “I will preserve the royal family line”, together with a breast star bearing central diamond, a Junior Companion’s silver medal, a riband bar and a lapel rosette. This highest class, namely that of the Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class), was generally only bestowed upon Thai Royalty and foreign Heads of State. Extremely fine and exceptionally rare, the lot is housed in its fitted case and is estimated to fetch between £30,000 and £40,000 (lot 1470)

Equally notable is a set of insignia of The Most Illustrious Order of the House of Chakri, founded by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), in honour of King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I, 1782-1809) and in celebration of the Centenary of the Chakri dynasty and the foundation of Bangkok. This opulent set, which includes a collar, a pendant badge, a sash badge and a breast lavishly decorated with gold, diamonds and enamels, was once in the collection of Karl I of Austria. It is also estimated to fetch £40,000 to 60,000 (lot 1472)

Another medal with a royal provenance is King Prajadhipok’s (Rama VII) Royal Cypher Medal, (1926-35), a first class diamond-set gold breast badge which was awarded to Princess Caroline Mathilde of Denmark (1912-1995). Princess Caroline Mathilde (1912-95) was the daughter of Prince Harald of Denmark, the youngest son of Frederik VIII. On 8 September 1933 she married her first cousin Prince Knud, the second son of Christian X. On the accession of Frederik IX in 1947, Knud became heir apparent to the Danish throne since Salic law in force at the time excluded Frederik IX’s daughters from the succession, and Caroline Mathilde was therefore Crown Princess. Following a national referendum in March 1953, the succession law was changed to allow the daughters of King Frederik IX the right of succession, his eldest daughter Margarethe (the present Queen Margarethe II) replacing Knud as heir apparent. Knud and Caroline Mathilde received the titles Hereditary Prince and Princess of Denmark. A portrait photograph of the Crown Princess wearing the badge is also included in the lot, which is estimated to fetch £10,000 to 15,000 (lot 1473)

Collectors should also be tempted by an impressive Knight Grand Cross set of insignia of The Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao made by J.W. Benson Ltd. of London in the early 20th century. The badge, in gold and enamels, has a central portrait of Rama V on the obverse, while the reverse features three Airavata elephants. The accompanying breast star, in silver, gilt and enamels also bears a central diamond-set Rama V monogram on a pink enamelled ground. This extremely fine and very rare set of insignia is estimated to fetch £10,000-15,000 (lot 1471).

The Scandinavian Collection: Orders, Medals and Decorations of Siam and Thailand is to be sold by at auction by Morton & Eden in London on Thursday 19 November 2020 as part of a general sale of Orders, Medals and Decorations. To conform with the British Government’s latest ‘lockdown’ regulations this auction will now be held ‘behind closed doors’ and there will unfortunately be no public access.

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