100779 | FRANCE. Compagnie des messageries maritimes bronze Medal.
100779 | FRANCE. Compagnie des messageries maritimes bronze Medal. Issued 1953. Tahiti and the Far East private field of the company (59mm, 103.01 g, 12h). By R. Tschudin at the Paris Mint.
TAHITIEN, Tahitian woman kneeling left, holding hei; all set in tropical, mountainous setting / COMPAGNIE DES MESSAGERIES MARITIMES, company arms. Edge: «cornucopia» BRONZE.
Choice Mint State. Charming yellow-bronze surfaces, with some lighter highlights and deeper green around the devices; exceptional relief; includes original box of issue. Compare to a similar example in iNumis (October 2012), lot 2309 (which realized a hammer of €214 [plus buyer's fee]).
The Compagnie des messageries maritimes was founded in 1851 as a French merchant shipping company, ultimately reaching its zenith between the end of the Franco-Prussian War and the beginning of World War I—a period of rapid French colonial expansion. Though it had shipping operations throughout the world, the Far East had become the company's private field, with Saigon in Vietnam becoming one of its second home ports. This medal points to the Far East shipping dominion, analogous to other French art medals for passenger shipping lines and their various destination routes.