Silver Dragon medallion on chain, circa 1900

Discussion in 'Metalware' started by KevinStandage, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. KevinStandage

    KevinStandage Member

    Hi everyone,

    Continuing the clearance of my father's house, I've come across this item. It almost certainly comes from my great grandfather who was stationed in Hong Kong in the early 1900s, but I have no idea what it actually is, nor what the Chinese writing says on the reverse side. Not convinced it is actually made of silver either.




    If anyone has any thoughts, I would be most appreciative !

    Bronwen and KikoBlueEyes like this.
  2. Marie Forjan

    Marie Forjan Well-Known Member

    Any Jewelry, Bronwen and KikoBlueEyes like this.
  3. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Chances are good luck, long life, prosperity, etc. rather than some mysterious dragon message. Face reminds me of a fox head doorknocker, but I like her anyway.
  4. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    It doesn't look silver to me, but you can always have it tested.
    The dragon looks like the Imperial Dragon on the dragon robes of Chinese officials, but a reverse to the ones I remember. Not that this has an Imperial connection, but it is the type of dragon. In the centre is the Pearl of Wisdom, which the dragon is guarding.

    The characters on the back are probably auspicious, as Bronwen said. I don't read Chinese, but @Couch Potato Wannabe and @JayBee do.:)
    kyratango, KevinStandage and Bronwen like this.
  5. KevinStandage

    KevinStandage Member

    @Couch Potato Wannabe or @JayBee - can you help identify the language, and possibly translate it ? I'm completely stuck on this one...

  6. Couch Potato Wannabe

    Couch Potato Wannabe Well-Known Member

    The design is from a coin, one of the earlier standardised currencies.
    光緒元寶 = Guangxu Yuanbao
    Your medallion is not likely a real coin converted to a medallion, I'd say merely the design is inspired by the centre part of the coin with a more stylised character set.
    There are hundreds of such examples of this coin design, and a great many variations of the coin over time.

    szechuan-dollar-y238-lm-345-ddo-die-chip-obverse.jpg lot-3839879-XL.jpg
  7. KevinStandage

    KevinStandage Member

    Thanks @Couch Potato Wannabe - the date of Guangxu's reign matches perfectly with when my Great Grandfather was there. Guess this is merely a souvenir he brought back
    Any Jewelry and komokwa like this.
  8. Anabel P.

    Anabel P. Member

    Sorry, this is an oriental souvenir not made of silver.
    Amazing but no value
    kyratango likes this.
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