Graduate's Badge of the Konstantinovsky Artillery School in
St Petersburg, circa 1907-1917.
37.8mm from left to right across the arms, 48.6mm from the
top of the crown to the bottom of the lower arm. Three piece
construction. Bronze gilt white enameled cross surmounted by
the imperial Russian crown. On the arms are the anniversary
dates of the school ("1807" and "1907") and the monograms of
Tsars Alexander I and Nicholas II. The "K" monogram in the
center stands for Archduke Konstantin Pavlovich and, in the
iconography of the day, the crown over the K and the green
enameled laurel wreath indicated that the original founders
of the school were are noblemen from the Noble Regiment. The
thumbscrew is definitely of the era and probably original to
the badge. There is a visible ridge at the base of the crown
on the reverse of the badge, indicating that the crown is a
separately applied piece.
Very fine to excellent condition. No chips or flaking to the
enamel although there are minor stress fractures. Under
magnification, it is possible to see that some gilding still
remains on the crown at the top and on the monogram, too.
While it is sometimes difficult at this point in time to
determine the "pecking order" of pre-Revolutionary
academies and military schools, the Konstantinovsky
Artillery School seems to have been one of the most
prestigious in the Russian Empire.
This badge was authorized on 23 December 1906, just prior to
the school's 100th year anniversary in 1907; Nicholas II was
notoriously bad-tempered when approached to authorize badges
that commemorated anything shorter than the one hundredth
anniversary of a regiment or an institution, so he must have
been happy to sign off on the design of this centenary
badge. (Interestingly, it has been written that the Tsar's
personal approval was required in advance for any badge that
showed the imperial crown, the Romanov eagle, or any royal
This is badge number 1.4.1 on page 61 in Volume One of
"The Badges of Russia" by Patrikeev and Bojonovich.