Insignia, medals and decorations have been part of military lore and culture from the earliest times. And the name synonymous with these accoutrements is French company Arthus-Bertrand (Stand 07-B24), which was founded in 1803. Taking exceptional pride in its products, Arthus-Bertrand still manufactures 99 per cent of its wares by hand. Armed forces worldwide, notably in the Middle East, Latin America and Africa, obtain their medals and decorations from the firm.
One of the most visible items from the specialised craftsmen of Arthus- Bertrand is the French Legion of Honour, Grand Cross, displayed on the diagonal ribbon worn by the President of France at official events.
Products that now include sports trophies and medals, badges for security personnel and high-value gifts and mementos are designed and meticulously handcrafted by master craftsmen and their apprentices.
Each item typically requires some 20 steps to reach finality, including casting, minting, filing, engraving and polishing.
Arthus-Bertrand exports to 85 countries, with export sales accounting for 40 per cent of turnover.