St Petersburg Forest Institute graduate badge, miniature by
Dmitry Osipov, 1899-1903.
Silver gilt; measures 25.4 x 21.4 mm; weighs 4.1 g without
the wing nut, 5.6 g overall. The silver double-headed eagle
is a separate part superimposed on the gilded wreath.
Vaulted construction, beautifully detailed piece -
especially for a miniature. Despite its small size, the
state emblem has all the requisite details including clearly
visible St. George slaying the dragon and even the
identifiable provincial coats of arms on the wings of the
The reverse has silver hallmark "84" with the early style
"Kokoshnik" facing left and clearly legible initials ЯЛ
("YaL") of the St. Petersburg assay inspector Yakov
Lyapunov. The name of the assayer pinpoints the period of
manufacture for this piece to 1899-1903.
In outstanding, near mint condition. The details are
practically unaffected wear or cleaning; even the highest
points of the crown and state emblem are essentially
pristine and exceptionally crisp. The attachment wires are
sound and tight. The original gilt finish on the wreath is
partly obscured by silver patina but is nevertheless clearly
visible on both sides. The screw post is of full length,
over 11 mm; its threads are completely intact. The badge
comes with original silver wing nut showing a matching
circular "Kokoshnik" hallmark with initials "YaL".
Please note, this badge is often confused with the more
common badge of the Nicholas General Staff Academy. The
latter was of the same overall design sans gold plating. The
piece we are offering here clearly has old gilt finish on
the wreath, so we are confident that it is indeed a badge of
the Forest Institute. Its gilt however, being subdued by
patina, is only visible at close inspection. Therefore, this
badge may serve for display purposes as an acceptable
substitute for a General Staff badge on a military uniform.
/"Badges of Russia" Vol. 1 by Patrikeev, Bojonovich,
p. 121 fig. 2.37/
Please note, penny in our photo is for size reference.