These are some of the websites
and books that have proved very useful to us. We are happy to share them
Google and the like will find many sites with ease. We list here some
of the sites that we have found especially useful, that have links to
many other useful sites or that a search engine may not necessarily find
or rank highly.
created by the admirable Megan Robertson has a wealth of images of
both orders decorations and medal and their ribbons. Also many links to
other useful sites that we will not repeat here.
is also packed with information and useful links.
created by Yuri Yashnev is another notable personal achievement (Russian
and English languages and many excellent illustrations)
and much else besides.
has a mass of valuable information on Imperial Ethiopian orders and
decorations under the Religious, Traditional & Ceremonial section.
used to be a fantastic resource with all the decorations of the War of
Independence, Winter War and Continuation War but some idiot working for
the Finnish Government has removed all this historic material, leaving
just summary details of the three orders. You can lobby for its restoration
by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
has a great deal of very interesting material relating to heraldry and
ephemeral and pseudo-orders and the sometimes murky world of revived and
recently created orders of chivalry.
is well worth visiting, though somewhat clunky to use.
is an excellent source of information, though only the section in Dutch
is yet working.
shows orders and medals under the Royal Palace section
www.turkishmedals.net is absolutely superb on the subject.
Serbia & Royal Yugoslavia: www.royalfamily.org/history/medals.htm
is the part of the official website of the Royal Family of Serbia’s
website showing orders and medals of Serbia and Yugoslavia from 1903.
shows orders and medals under the Swedish Monarchy section
Anyone searching for rare or out of print books should be aware of the
brilliant site www.bookfinder.com which we have used to locate and buy
many such treasures. For finding French language books, www.galaxidion.com
Orders and Decorations of Europe in Color by Paul Hieronymussen, published
by Macmillan, 1967. Hardbound, 256 pages, colour and black & white
An inexpensive and very helpful introductory guide to European orders
and decorations (but not medals).
Guide des Ordres, Décorations et Médailles Militaires 1814-1963
by André Souyris-Rolland, published by Public-Réalisations,
1979. Hardbound, 136 pages, colour and black & white illustrations.
An excellent general introduction; masses of illustrations and a structured
text for each decoration make this a useful book, even for those who find
French a challenge.
Guide des Ordres Civils Français et Etrangers, des Médailles
d’Honneur, des Médailles de Sociétés by André
Souyris-Rolland, published by Préal-Supcam, 1979. Softbound, large
format, 145 pages, colour and black & white illustrations. French
The companion volume to the previous work, focusing on civil orders,
medals of honour and also decorations from the United Nations, Red Cross,
Life Saving, Shooting, Mutual Assistance and Veterans Societies. Much
of the material here is hard to find elsewhere.
Guide des Ordres et Décorations de la Résistance te de
la Libération, 2e Guerre Mondale by André Souyris-Rolland
and Gérard Le Marec, published by Public-Réalisations, 1985.
Hardbound, 136 pages, colour and black & white illustrations. French
Covers the decorations of every country that issued them to mark the
resistance during and liberation after the Second World War. The illustrations
and form of the text make this a useful book, even for non-French speakers.
Orden und Ehrenzeichen der Osterreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie by Václav
Mericka, published by Verlag Anton Schroll & Co., 1974. Hardbound,
304 pages, colour and black & white illustrations. German language.
Comprehensive with many fine illustrations of very high quality.
Die Ehrenzeichen und Medaillen des Osterreichischen Roten Kreuzes, 1914-2004
by Walter Schwarz, published by the Osterreichische Gesellschaft für
Ordenskunde, 2004. Softback, 96 pages, colour and black & white illustrations.
Illustrated exhibition catalogue of decorations of the Austrian Red
Medalhas e Condecorações by, and published by, the Serviço
de Documentação Geral. of the Ministro da Marinha, 1983.
Hardbound, 67 pages, colour and black & white illustrations. Brazilian
Covers all the naval decorations of Brazil from independence early
in the 19th Century; with many excellent illustrations.
МЕДАЛИ И (Bulgarian Orders and Medals) by Professor
Petko Pavlov, 2002. Hardbound, large format, 360 pages, excellent colour
images throughout. Bulgarian and English languages.
Comprehensive serious, detailed and beautiful. Unlikely ever to be surpassed.
Odlikovanja i Znakovlje Nezavisne Drave Hrvatske 1941-1945 by Borna
Barac & Siniša Pogacic, published by OBOL naklada, 1998. Softbound,
195 pages, colour and black & white illustrations. Croat, English
& German languages.
Comprehensive, with insignia included. Good colour illustrations.
Danish Orders and Medals by Captain P. J. Jørgensen in association
with Kai Meyer, published privately in Copenhagen, 1964. Softbound,124
pages, black & white illustrations.
A valuable work in an area where very little literature exists.
Eesti Teenetemärgid by Hannes Walter, published by Miniplast Pluss,
1998. Hardbound, 396 pages, colour and black & white illustrations.
Estonian with English captions.
A comprehensive book; useful - but the language is a challenge.
Ordres et Décorations de France, direction Michel Droit, illustrations
Eric Droit, published by Editions du Grand Rond, 1982. Leather-bound,
large format in a slipcase, 408 pages, colour throughout. French language.
Not just a comprehensive survey of the orders and medals but an historical
narrative with portraits, newspaper cuttings, documents, photographs and
other supporting material. Splendid.
Décorations Officielles Françaises published by the Administration
des Monnaies et Médailles, 1956. Hardbound, large format, 292 pages,
colour and black & white illustrations. French language
It has the detail and authority one would expect and the standard
of colour illustrations is remarkable for the date (Printed by the Imprimerie
The Orders, Medals and History of Greece by Prince Dimitri Romanoff, published
by Balkan Heritage, 1987. Hardbound, 224 pages, colour and black &
An excellent brief history with a comprehensive survey of its orders
Katonai Kitüntetések a Magyar Történelemben by
Kenyeres Dénes, published by Kecskemét, 2004. Softbound,
356 pages, colour and black & white illustrations. Hungarian language.
The illustrations are many but not of great quality and the Hungarian
language is certainly a challenge but the book is comprehensive up to
the present day.
Le Medaglie Italiane negli ultimi 200 anni by Alessandro Brambilla, 2
vols, published privately,1985 and 1997. Hardback, line drawings throughout.
The ultimate authority. We hear exciting rumours of a full colour
Orders and Medals of Japan and Associated States, Third Edition, by James
W. Peterson, published by The Orders and Medals Society of America, 2000.
Hardbound, 178 pages, colour and black & white illustrations.
The definitive work on the subject; the third edition has many colour
illustrations in addition to the black and white.
Apbalvojumi Latvijas Republika 1918-1940 by Kristine Ducmane, published
by Latvijas Enciklopedija, 1993. Hardbound, 112 pages, colour and black
& white illustrations. In Latvian with translations and captions also
in English, French, German and Russian.
The best (only?) work on the subject. Colour illustrations are not
of high quality but there is interesting attention to design, much of
which was innovative.
Lietuvos Ordinai, Medaliai ir enkeliai 1918-1940 by Algimantas Astikas,
published by Mintis, 1993. Hardbound, 400 pages, colour and black &
white illustrations. Lithuanian language.
Although the book is in Lithuanian and the colour illustrations are
not high quality or particularly numerous, the book is comprehensive and
definitive, including insignia as well as orders and medals.
Ordensinsignien und Auszeichnungen des Souveränen Malteser-Ritterordens
by Heinz Kirchner & Georg von Truszczynski , published by Malteser_Hilfsdienst
e. V. , 1974. Sofbound, 88 pages, colour and black & white illustrations.
Comprehensive; with very high quality illustrations.
Ordres et Decorations Monegasques by Jacques Guiraud-Darmais, published
by the Archives du Palais Princier of Monaco, 1985. Sofbound, large format,
114 pages, colour and black & white illustrations. French language.
Comprehensive guide to the few Monegasque orders and medals; excellent
colour illustrations and details of the ordinances of each decoration.
The Orders, Medals and History of Montenegro by Prince Dimitri Romanoff,
published by Bent Carlsens Forlag, 1980. Hardbound, 96 pages, colour and
black & white illustrations.
An excellent brief history of Montenegro with an authoritative survey
of its few but fascinating orders and medals.
Orders and Decorations of the Netherlands by H. G. Meijer, C. P. Mulder
& B. W. Wagenaar, published privately, 1984. Softbound, large format,
214 pages, colour and black & white illustrations.
Comprehensive and authoritative.
Décorations et Ordres Polonais by Wanda Bigoszewska, published
by Editions Interpress, undated. Hardbound, small format, 140 pages, colour
illustrations. French language.
Helpful and comprehensive, even if the colour illustrations are garish
by today’s standards.
Decoratii Românesti de Razboi 1860-1947 by Ion Safta, Rotaru Jipa,
Tiberiu Velter and Floricel Marinescu, published by Editura Universitaria
Bucuresti, 1993. Softbound,170 pages, illustrated in colour. In Romanian,
English, French and German languages
It is not encyclopaedic, nor are the colour illustrations of fantastic
quality but it invaluable on the subject.
The Orders, Medals and History of Imperial Russia by Prince Dimitri Romanoff,
published by Balkan Heritage, 2000. Hardbound, 224 pages, colour and black
& white illustrations.
A brief history and a comprehensive survey of its orders and medals.
Many images are from the collections of the State Hermitage and thus extremely
useful for comparative research. And it is written by a Romanoff.
Serbia & Royal Yugoslavia
The Orders, Medals and History of the Kingdoms of Serbia and Yugoslavia
by Prince Dimitri Romanoff, published by Balkan Heritage, 1996. Hardbound,
192 pages, colour and black & white illustrations.
An excellent brief history with a comprehensive survey of its orders
South American Decorations and War Medals by Harold E. Gillingham, published
by the American Numismatic Society, 1932 and reprinted by Lenard L. Babin,
Softbound, 178 pages, black & white illustrations.
This small paperback is, so far as we know, the only book on the subject;
fortunately it is a good one, though obviously dated. Irritatingly, Mr
Babin who reprinted the book, saw fit to make his name more prominent
on the cover and title page than that of the book or the author.
Ordenes y Condecoraciones de España 1800-1975 by José Manuel
Pérez Guerra, published by Hermanos Guerra, 2000. Hardbound, large
format, 416 pages, excellent colour images throughout. Spanish language.
Even the reader who does not speak Spanish will find the images so
numerous and of such high quality that they will turn to this book whenever
researching a Spanish decoration.
Osmanli Madalyalari ve Nisanlari by Metin Erüretin, published by
DMC, 2001. Hardbound, large format, 384 pages, excellent colour images
throughout. Turkish language with English captions.
Comprehensive serious, detailed and beautiful. It is hard to believe
this book will ever be bettered. A real achievement.
CLEANING AND POLISHING PRODUCTS
The short answer is ‘don’t do it!’ As with many historic
art and artefacts, orders and medals develop a marvellous patina with
the passage of time. Zealous cleaning and polishing very often does far
more harm than good. Any polish will be abrasive and damage surfaces.
Metals such as silver that tend to discolour through oxidisation may be
safely cleaned using electrolysis.