‘Chiang Kai-shek medal’ set to be auctioned again

Staff Writer, with CNA, Hong Kong

Sun, May 05, 2013 - Page 3

A medal said to have belonged to late Republic of China (ROC) president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) in 1930 may be put to auction again after the previous attempt in August last year failed amid controversy over its authenticity.

Anna Lee (李安娜), vice chairman of Spink China, which organized the medal’s auction last year, said on Friday that the owner of the medal had contacted Spink China and that the item is likely to be put up for auction again this summer.

Lee said the owner contacted the house recently after sources in the US as well as Taiwan found that “the medal was indeed authentic.”

The item, the Order of Blue Sky and White Sun with Grand Cordon, was reportedly the only one among the more than 200 similar military decorations awarded to Chiang that was inscribed with Chinese characters meaning “Special One.”

The medal was expected to bring in between HK$3 million and HK$5 million (US$386,622 and US$644,370) last time, but went unsold, Lee said.

However, she said she was confident it would fetch a higher price than that if it is sold this time.

Conflicting claims over the authenticity of the medal were raised before last year’s auction, with the Ministry of National Defense saying that the medal with the marking “Special One” was buried with Chiang in Taoyuan County in 1975.

Chu Kang-ming (祝康明), who helped appraise the medal for the auction house, said that the medal on offer was authentic and that the defense ministry had not been able to produce evidence backing its claim to the contrary.