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    Boxer Rebellion - Imperial Peking Field Force Mounted Artillery 9th Unit Flag. In 1900, the United States sent the China Relief Expedition, comprised of the 9th and 14th Infantry regiments, elements of the 6th Cavalry and the 5th Artillery regiments, and a battalion of Marines to aid the Eight Nation Alliance in lifting the siege of Peking (modern Beijing). Earlier that year the Yìhéquán (Militia United in Righteousness), a populist group who detested both Christians and foreign interference, had risen in defiance of the government in Beijing. Known to the west simply as "The Boxers" they besieged the foreign legations and seized large portions of the Chinese capital.

    The combined western forces occupied Beijing until the Boxer Protocol Treaty was signed in 1901. For occupying troops everywhere flags proved a popular trophy item, this flag among them.

    This is a unit flag, hand stitched, double faced, cotton, approximately, 34" X 35", with Chinese characters stitched to both sides in white on a black background with a white picture frame border, finished with a plain edge. There is no identifiable system of attachment remaining. The characters roughly translate, Qipao jiu dui or "Mounted Artillery 9th Unit," and were undoubtedly part of the Peking Field Force that garrisoned the Chinese Capital.

    Power in China, at the turn of the 20th century, lay with the Qing Dynasty, a Manchu minority that had conquered the Ming dynasty in 1644. Although officially neutral, there was no unanimity in the Chinese military, and some, especially in the ruling class, favored the Boxers. Whether through surrender or trade this flag was acquired, likely by an American soldier, who ultimately conveyed it to Reuben Henley Lloyd.

    Lloyd (1835-1909), a San Francisco lawyer, community leader, Mason and Bohemian, was well known in local affairs and in turn gifted this flag to Michael Henry de Young, whose de Young Museum, the product of his fertile brain and vast fortune, had become San Francisco's premier repository for art, ephemera, curiosities and in this case, flags.

    The flags remained at the de Young until it was merged with the California Palace of the Legion of Honor to form the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

    This is a significant opportunity for a collector of Imperial Chinese Military, Boxer, militaria, and Asian ephemera. Boxer Rebellion items rarely come to auction.

    Condition: The flag is in good condition. It is used, worn and soiled with several small holes, but otherwise intact and complete.

    Provenance: Reuben H Lloyd; de Young Museum, San Francisco Fine Arts Museums.
    Note: This flag was not part of the Rungee Museum collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2020
    6th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 994

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