Hat badge of State Militia Units for Non-Christians, Reign
of Nicholas II, 1895- 1917.
Stamped brass, relief reverse construction; 42.4 mm tall x
45.2 mm wide. Features cypher of Emperor Nicholas II and
motto "For Tsar and Fatherland!"
Very fine to excellent overall condition. The raised details
of the obverse are perfectly preserved and crisp. The brass
exhibits attractive even toning, free of pitting or
significant oxidation. The edge is completely free of the
usual dings and bumps. Three of the four original attachment
prongs on the reverse are still present and completely sound
(caveat emptor: we cannot guarantee their functionality; if
you try to bending them, you do it at your own risk).
The first badges of militia units date back to the Patriotic
War of 1812 when Russian militia was instrumental in
reducing the retreating Napoleon's invasion army to shreds.
During the reign of Alexander II, non-Christians in militia
units received a special octagon-shaped badge with the motto
"For Tsar and Fatherland", whereas the motto of standard
cross-shaped badges for Christians had the motto "For Faith
and Tsar". Badges of Alexander III period were initially
very similar to the original 1812 design in that regard, but
in 1890 the word "Fatherland" was added to the motto of
badges for Christians, while the non-Christian version
remained the same.
Please note, penny in our photo is for size reference.
/Patrikeev and Boinovich, "Badges of Russia, Vol. 2",
page 488, fig. 11.16.a/