Shanghai Jubilee Medal, £6400 at Denhams.

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The medal was struck in China in both silver and bronze and presented to various dignitaries during the celebrations on November 17, 1893.

Approximately 625 silver and 100 bronze medals were issued with a silver clasp inscribed 1843-1893 awarded with the medal ribbon.

This example, offered on January 25 at Denhams (20% buyer’s premium) in Horsham, West Sussex, was awarded to a WM Keswick – probably the trader and later politician William Keswick (1834-1912).

The patriarch of an influential shipping family working in Hong Kong and China, his company operated as merchant traders and had a major influence in both the First and the Second Opium Wars.

The company stopped trading opium in 1870 to instead pursue shipping, railways, textiles and property development.

Later, after moving to Surrey, Keswick was elected the Conservative MP for Epsom in 1899 and held the seat until shortly before he died in 1912.

Desirable issue

Shanghai Jubilee Medals are desirable issues, today appealing to numismatists in the Far East at prices way above those they previously garnered from British and European collectors.

This example, which was pretty much as struck (although without a ribbon and clasp), was estimated at £300-500 but took £6400.