Reference Catalogue Orders, Medals and Decorations of the World, Part 1: Iron Book (A-D)

by Borna Barac

Reference Catalogue Orders, Medals and Decorations of the World Part 1: A-D

This book has been sitting by my computer and gets consulted whenever I'm working on appropriate sections of this website (that is, the Orders, Decorations and Medals of Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Croatia, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, and Dahomey before 1945). The level of detail and clear illustrations make it quite invaluable!

The organisation is systematic, if a bit ideosyncratic. For each country, first you get a list of all medals awarded by that nation in the order in which they were instituted. Each is illustrated, mostly front and back in colour, and attempts have been made to show variations. There are no descriptions of the designs nor of the ribbons, although inscriptions are sometimes given. If the illustration does not show a ribbon, a separate colour illustration appears, much like the ones I use in my ribbon charts.

The date each medal was instituted is shown, but there is no indication of terms of award. The images themselves vary in quality and even size, being in the main acquired from auction catalogues, but medal dimensions are usually given. Sometimes a sketch is used rather than a photograph, particularly noticeable for the orders of Brazil. Not all decorations (for valour, etc.) appear, and when they do they are jumbled up with the other medals due to the strict date order in which they appear.

Next for each country comes the orders that are (or were) awarded. Again they are presented in order of institution which may vary from their place in that nation's order of precedence. The detail, however, is fantastic with variations and different types shown meticulously - a magnificent aid to identification.

Overall, if you like world orders, decorations and medals, this is a worthwhile addition to your library if only for the sheer amount of illustrations and details provided.

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Page last updated: 20 July 2014