A watch caught up in an intriguing tale of wartime diplomacy, politicians and secret service agents is going under the hammer in the US this evening.
The 14k gold Longines wristwatch was presented to American Secret Service agent Henry W. Rodney by Chinese politician Madame Chiang Kai-Shek in 1942, when she travelled to the US to gain support in the face of Japanese invasion.
Rodney was part of the Secret Service detail charged with the protection of foreign dignitaries.
The watch’s dial bears Chiang Kai-Shek’s white, 12-pointed sun crested and is inscribed with the words “MR. H.W. RODNEY / MADAME CHIANG KAI-SHEK”.
Madame Chiang Kai-Shek was one of the most prominent Chinese politicians in the 20th century and wife of Chiang Kai-Shek, who went on to become president of the People’s Republic of China in 1943.
The watch is up for auction in the US through Nate D. Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles. Online bidding beginning at $15,000 (£9,800).