Memorial Medal of T’ienchin Tutung Yamen, in gold.

T’ienchin Tutung Yamen was a temporary local government (engraved in French on the back side of the medal) formally establish on July 30th when the allied forces captured T’ienchin on July 14th, 1900. It was originally referred to as Viceroy’s Yamen and was renamed to T’ienchin Tutung Yamen on August 14th. The organization established a three-person committee appointed by the Allied Force Command, consisting of representatives of Russia, the United Kingdom and Japan. All three representatives were referred to as Tutung. The appointment was followed by an addition of another four representatives from Germany, France, the United States and Italy. The commander of Austria-Hungary also requested to send a representative, however, the request was refused due to Austria-Hungary’s limited military power in China. Consequently, seven of the eight countries of the Eight-Nation Alliance each occupied a position in T’ienchin Tutung Yamen except for Austria-Hungary. T’ienchin Tutung Yamen exercised military control over T’ienchin, Chinghai, Ningho and some other regions with 8 subordinate executive organizations and a patrolling team composed of 900 allied forces gunmen directly under its control. Upon the conclusion of the Boxer Protocol, the Eight-Nation Alliance gradually withdrew from Peking and T’ienchin. In May 1902, Governor Yuan Shih-kai of Chihli held a consultation meeting with all seven foreign Tutung in T’ienchin, discussing the revocation of T’ienchin Tutung Yamen. However, it was not until August 15th, 1902 that the Qing government formally took over T’ienchin. This marked the end of the T’ienchin Tutung Yamen which had ruled T’ienchin for as long as two years.

This medal was designed by J. Chevt and manufactured by the renowned Japanese jeweler TENSHODO, came in both gold and silver. The characters and engravings on the medal reflect truthfully the historical facts of T’ienchin Tutung Yamen. On the back side of the medal are seven national flags representing the seven countries which enjoyed a seat in T’ienchin Tutung Yamen. The time 1900~1902 engraved on the medal corresponds to the duration of the administration. These details demonstrate that the item was custom made by T’ienchin Tutung Yamen and then issued in China on behalf of the organization when the revocation took place in 1902. The gold memorial medal weighing 97g is speculated to be granted to foreign Tutung. As of today, only two of them are observed.

 

[article source: China Qing Dynasty Medals 中國清代徽章 ISBN: 978-0-9781539-3-9]

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Memorial Medal of T’ienchin Tutung Yamen, in gold.

  1. Bill Jones

    I have one of these with presentation box ( GTP on box cover ) in excellent condition with no nicks .Please advise what it maybe worth it is marked K18 on the edge and appears to be gold and how many were made or distributed. Or a information you may have. Thank you http://www.a1bill @cox.net

  2. Bruce W. Smith

    Hello — This medal is known in the west as the Tientsin Provisional Government Medal. For a short time during 1900-1902, a committee of foreigners were in control of the city of Tientsin. After the government was returned to the Chinese, these medals were made as a souvenir for those involved. The designer was Mr. J. Chevet (his initials J. C. appear on the medal), who was apparently in the French military unit attached to the Tientsin government. According to an article by Paul Bordeaux, only 12 pieces were struck in gold, and he names all 12 people who received them. In silver, 60 pieces were struck, and in bronze 153 were struck. I have seen the silver and gold pieces, but I have never seen an example in bronze. There is also an article by James Sweeny on this and other medals connected with the Boxer Uprising.
    I have recorded the following sales of this medal in gold:
    1) Stack’s Auction (NY) 18-20 October 1951 (Clifford Weihman collection)
    2) Heritage Auction (NY) 2-3 January 2012
    I have also recorded a few pieces in silver sold in various coin auctions. I do not collect Chinese hanging medals, so I do not receive catalogs of medal auctions. I do collect Chinese souvenir and artistic medals, and keep files on them.
    I enjoy your site. Keep up the good work.
    Bruce W. Smith Chinasmith Books & Records, P.O. Box 529, Sheboygan, WI 53082 USA chinasmithbr@yahoo.com

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