INTRODUCTION AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This part of the study of the orders and medals of Indochina, lists and comments on the western style awards of French Indochina. Two closely related studies are covering the Orders and Medals of the Protectorate of Annam www.indochinamedals.com/annam/index.html, and the Medals of the T'ai Federation and Nung Autonomous Zone www.indochinamedals.com/tai_and_nung/index.html. An earlier study covers the Traditional Awards of Annam. A later study covers the medals of France for the campaigns in Indochina.
Most of the French Indochina medals follow closely French medallic taste, particularly in the fashionable heads of La Republique. These range from the pure but sensual girl of Roty to the sterner maidens on the later awards. Contrasting these are the striking Art Deco pieces. The shortlived Military and Native Guard Merit Medal is also a quaint, dramatic Design.
These orders and medals reflect the time well. It was a period of the greatness of the French colonial empire. Current fashions condemn colonialism, but at the time French Indochina was the pride of France. It is now a most interesting fragment of history, with a sad conclusion.
The information in this study is mostly available in the fine source works listed in the references. That which is not has been received through the courtesy of friends in France most knowledgeable on the system of awards. We owe deep thanks to Col. P. Rullier, Col. A. Guaydier, Mr. J. Hass, and Dr. P.H. Demoge. The images are of pieces from our own collections and from others who have been so kind as to allow use of images from their collections; also from the excellent work by M. Delande, from the handsome catalogs of Maison Platt, and from the other listed references.
This study was initially carried out by John Sylvester Jr. We are thankful that he has let us take up this study from his original work, and continue to expand it with additional information as available.
We request the corrections, additions, and observations of others interested in the subject.