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Order of the Precious Crown (Japan), First Class. Queen Mary's badge and sash 1905

Gold, enamels, pearls, silk | 8.5 × 5.0 cm (badge); 135.0 × 8.0 cm (sash) (whole object) | RCIN 441068

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The Order of the Precious Crown is the highest Japanese honour for women. At the turn of the twentieth century, it was awarded to numerous female members of the British royal family to strengthen ties between the two nations. The badge incorporates a gold crown topped by a bird of paradise, as worn by ancient empresses.