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My French medal collection


Garth Thompson
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Hello all,

I thought I would share my french medal collection with the group. I relatively recently started studying and collecting french medals. I've long since gotten tired of the snivelling, back biting and general level of ignorance in the TR scene and gave it up for british medals several years ago but not being wealthy I have achieved probably all I am going to without mortgaging my soul away for those few astronomically priced bits left to own. My grandfather was french so it seemed logical to start on french medals. So here we go with my humble offering:

#1 Older campaigns

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Congratulations, you have a very good choice of significant awards.

Some are quite scarce, such as the Belfor medal. Although it not truly an official medal, most collectors of the Franco-Prussian war like to have one.

Hope you find further satisfactions studying and collecting this material.

Regards

Paul

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WOW Garth!! You have been VERY busy lately!

Which one is the Belfor Medal? Was it a commemorative medal?

What medal is it in the "Older Medals" catagory with the white ribbon(with eagle)? What is your oldest medal?

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Cool-may we see the groups and the colonials close up please?

Very impressive for three years effort.

Is that Mexican campaign medal ribbon original?

Here are some close ups as you requested. The Mexican campaign ribbon is old and quite fragile so I do think it is a period one probably original to the medal.

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While not actually French government awards these could be given to French officials and personnel in the colonies. These are carried in a 1955 catalog of French and colonial medals I have.

Left: Medal commerating the reign of the ruler of Laos

Right: Medal commerating the reign of the ruler of Cambodia

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WOW Garth!! You have been VERY busy lately!

Which one is the Belfor Medal? Was it a commemorative medal?

What medal is it in the "Older Medals" catagory with the white ribbon(with eagle)? What is your oldest medal?

Paul,

The white ribboned medal is for the campaign in Mexico 1862-63. The oldest ones I have would be the St. Helena 1857 then the 1859 Italian Campaign. Neither are particullarly rare.

Garth

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Hello Garth

Your close-ups are most useful. They illustrate one of the caracteristics of the french approach to campaign (and other) medals : the Mint has an obligation to keep a supply of such awards during the probable life-time of the men (and women) who have earned them, in order to provide them with official medals at a reasonnable cost.

This leads to occasionnal restrikes which have slight differences with the very first issues. This is particularly obvious with the early IIIrd Republic colonial campaigns : TONKIN, MADAGASCAR, DAHOMEY. The attachment to the medal itself through which the ribbon-ring is linked to it had an oblong shape (the French refer to is as the "olive" attachment). It is quite obvious on the TONKIN and second MADAGASAR medals in your collection.

Later strickings have a round attachment, smaller than the "olive". These are perfectly official issues, simply later one, but still possibly as early as the 1930s. This can be seen on your first MADACASCAR an DAHOMEY medals. I personnally remember buying a series in the early 1960s.

Both types are perfectly legitimate and may have been worn by soldiers and sailors who earned them.

Keep us posted with your collecting

Regards

Paul

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