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Spink to offer a rare Collar Chain and Badge of the Order of the Orchid Blossom
An important and excessively rare Collar Chain and Badge of the Order of the Orchid Blossom. Estimate: S$160,000 – 200,000.

SINGAPORE.- The Spink team have completed the annual Singapore auction catalogue just in time for Singapore to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The sale contains a number of extremely exceptional numismatic items from South East Asia and takes place during the long awaited World Stamp Exhibition, of which Spink are the official auctioneer and key sponsor. Amongst the medals portion of the sale is one of South East Asia’s most elusive orders; Spink announces that on the 16th August 2015, an important and excessively rare Collar Chain and Badge of the Order of the Orchid Blossom will be up for auction.

It is extremely beautiful, and combines a plethora of traditional Manchurian motifs: the Collar Chain itself is comprised of eight medallions representing the Eight Auspicious Omens of Buddha, namely a lotus flower, a vase, two goldfish, an endless-knot, a conch shell, the wheel of the law, an umbrella, and a canopy. This stunning chain is complimented by a large central medallion featuring an Illustrious Dragon on a blue enamel background within a gold openwork cloud border. The dragon insignia is taken from the design traditionally found on the back of the emperor’s robes.

From the dragon medallion hangs the Badge Appendant, an Imperial orchid blossom crest of turquoise enamel with five yellow enamel petals, suspended from a plain gold replica of the Badge, with an inscription reading ‘Grand Merit Decoration’ on the reverse. Lot 606, Estimate: S$160,000 – 200,000

The iconic design for the collar of the Grand Order of the Orchid Blossom draws on traditional Chinese cultural associations with Orchids. The orchid has always had a very special place in Chinese Culture. It is often seen in Chinese works of art and the orchid was one of the scholar’s favorites as it represents integrity, nobility and friendship. It was believed to be elegant yet humble, natural yet refined, joyous yet polite and independent yet friendly. These learned men saw a great deal of their best qualities in the orchid.

From these associations it is clear why the Orchid Blossom features on one of the highest Orders of the Manchukuo State, however the Orchid is also extremely significant to Singapore, where the sale will be held. In 1981 the orchid was chosen to be the national flower of Singapore as they too saw their national spirit encapsulated within the flower. Singapore is one of the only countries to have a hybrid as the national flower, among the several varieties of Miss Vanda Joaquim, the variety “Agnes” was chosen particularly for its vibrant colours, hardiness and resilience – qualities which reflect the Singapore spirit. A flower that symbolizes prosperity and hard work – a fitting emblem for the Spink Sale of Banknotes, Bonds & Shares, Coins and Medals of South East Asia!

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