Badge of Honored Road Builder, #7304, circa late 1940s -
Brass, silver plating, enamels. Measures 44.1 x 31.8 mm.
Two-piece construction: the star is a separate, superimposed
part held by wires. The serial number is engraved in
characteristic "square" font.
In excellent, near mint condition. The enamel is beautiful
and pristine everywhere including the fragile red scrolls;
shows none of the usual chips, flaking or buffing. Raised
details are perfect and crisp; the silver finish is
completely intact - a highly uncommon case - having
practically no wear even on the high points. The original
gilt on the wreath and the edges of the star is beautifully
bright. The silver plating on the reverse of the badge is
pristine. Comes with original screw plate maker marked
"Moscow Artists Cooperative" and a washer probably added at
a later time for extra protection.
From 1935 through 1953 all major road building in the USSR
was under direct control of NKVD (MVD) which supplied ample
slave labor for the construction projects. The NKVD and its
Gushosdor Agency awarded the "Honored Road Builder" badges
to best engineers, managers and even some of the
/"History of Awards and Insignia of Russian MVD, 1802 - 2002
p. 108, fig. 188.8.131.52, also "Avers 8" p. 139 fig.