Courtesy of the California History Room,
California State Library,
Medallion presented to Frederick Bee
Courtesy of the Bee family
From David Humphrey, "Apparently these medallions were given by the government of China (not necessarily gifted by the Emperor or Empress Dowager personally) as acknowledgment of service to the welfare of China in some manner. There were other medallions made of gold reserved for the highest honors bestowed upon the 'foreign devils' and all of these honorary medallions were given begrudgingly by China as she considered all foreigners as enemies even if worthy of some recognition. The writing on the front of the medallion is in the Manchu language and was used for official gifts.
I consulted with a former director of a museum of Asian Arts and he told me the above information and also that he had seen several of such medallions over the years."
Courtesy of Lewis & Clark College Aubrey Watzek Library Archives & Special Collections.