SEE BELOW FOR DESCRIPTION
J008458 CASED FEMALE'S RED CROSS ORDER OF MERIT.Awarded for distinguished service to the Japanese Red Cross Society, the Order of Merit ("Yuknosho"), established in June of 1888, takes the form of an enameled silver "cross urdy," 1 13/16" from point to point, with a 3/4" diameter, central medallion. Six white enamel rays are to each arm of the cross, obverse and reverse. To the obverse of the medallion, against its dark blue enamel background, is what appears to be a peacock (the "ho-o") above a red enamel Geneva cross, with bamboo branches arching up either side, and flowering Paulownias to the base of each branch. To the reverse of the medallion, against its dark blue enameled background, is a row of three kanji characters which apparently translate to "Merit Medal," with the characters for "Meiji era 21st Year" (1888) arching above them, and those for "Japanese Red Cross Society" arching beneath. The inscriptions to the reverse are almost illegible, as a result of the enamel "bubbling," and the cross has an overall dark brown patina to it, particularly to its obverse. A perforated ball is to the top of the upper arm of the cross, through which passes the suspension ring for the loop on its ribbon. The 1 7/16" wide, watered silk ribbon is red with two very pale blue stripes to either edge, and is arranged in a horizontal bow shape rather than straight and vertically, determining that the medal was worn by a woman. A 9/16" diameter, pale blue rosette is fixed to the obverse of the ribbon’s vertical loop, and to its reverse is a vertical hanging hook for the medal, and a horizontal pin-back device, much like a safety pin, whose "pin" is absent. The ribbon and rosette, unlike the medal, is bright and clean, with very little age soiling. Also included is a roughly 1/2" square, Geneva cross shaped rosette, in red with eight pale blue stripes to its depressed center, and to whose reverse is a brass plate, unto which is crimped a small pin-back device. The rosette is only lightly age soiled. The medal and ribbon are nested into corresponding depressions to the white cardboard interior base of its original presentation case. The cardboard exhibits the expected age and usage soiling, but is not significantly worn. The 3" x 4 3/8" x 1 3/16", softwood case, which separates along its sides, has two columns of brown kanji characters to its cover, that to the right repeating the lower inscription seen to the reverse of the medal, while that to the left repeats "Merit Medal." The case is lightly surface scratched and age soiled.
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