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     Home > SOVIET BADGES > Civil Aviation & Aeroflot

    Badge of the ODVF (Society of Friends of the Air Fleet), Northwestern Chapter, 1923-25.

    Badge of the ODVF (Society of Friends of the Air Fleet), Northwestern Chapter, 1923-25.

    Silver, enamels. Measures 32.3 mm in height, 39.1 mm in width; weighs 5.6 grams without screw plate. Extremely elegant and well-made badge of multi-piece construction. Its design is an epitome of the Constructivist style prevalent in Soviet art of the mid-20s (by the end of the decade, it would fall out of favor with the Kremlin masters and get largely replaced with the burgeoning Socialist Realism). Unlike the more common badges of the Northwestern ODVF, this badge features a very detailed depiction of a biplane flying almost directly toward the viewer and a vertically oriented blue scroll with the name of the organization ending in a stylized hammer & sickle emblem at the top.

    The obverse on the upper wing on the left (to the viewer) has an 84 silver hallmark, the old "Kokoshnik" model used only until 1926, with a Greek character Alpha designating the Petrograd (after 1924, Leningrad) assay inspection. Additionally, the fuselage of the airplane has a Cyrillic maker mark "MT" and a round assay inspection mark with "Kokoshnik".

    The badge is in excellent condition, absolutely superb for a Soviet award from this period (before the formation of the USSR). Both the blue enamel on the scroll and red enamels on the stars are perfect (an examination under 10x loupe reveals some surface rubbing to the stars that is completely unnoticeable to the naked eye.) The perfect condition of the blue scroll is especially unusual: this exposed part has chips on nearly all the surviving examples of the badge.

    The details of the airplane are likewise pristine and beautifully crisp. Both the obverse and revers show very attractive toning to silver. The three overlaying parts are soundly attached and tight. The screw post measures approximately 8 mm long; it may have been reduced by a couple of mm for convenience but remains long enough for proper functionality. The badge comes with original silver screw plate showing a "Kokoshnik" hallmark.

    This badge was awarded for donations or active participation in the Northwestern Chapter of the society which included Petrograd (later Leningrad) region. The production started in 1923, when Lenin was still alive. Very few of these survived to our days in anything like decent condition.

    /See "Avers 8", fig. 1417.c/


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