Officer Badge of the 96th Omsk Infantry Regiment, 26 mm
("Prinzen" Size), 1908-1917.
In silver, gold and enamels; measures 25.7 mm in height,
26.1 mm in width, weighs 6.4 grams. A very elegant, high
quality piece of riveted multi-piece construction. The
Maltese cross base and superimposed double-headed eagle are
in silver, whereas the cyphers of the Emperors Paul I and
Nicholas II on either sides of the eagle as well as the
crown on top are in solid gold. The red enameled shield in
the center with the Paul I monogram is also in gold. The
attachment pin appears to be in gold as well, with a silver
hinge and catch.
The badge is in very fine to excellent condition. There are
some tiny flakes to the white enamel at the tips of the
arms, nearly unnoticeable to an unaided eye. The details of
the eagle are very nicely preserved and crisp; the golden
cyphers and crown show only mild wear. The rivets are tight,
pin attachment fully functional, and the badge is very sound
Judging by the pin construction of the badge and its smaller
than usual size, it was probably commissioned for a Lady of
the Regiment - i.e. an officer's wife who was actively
involved in providing support for the unit. Such ladies were
not only responsible for setting up a multitude of social
events for the regiment, but often also made valuable
contribution to bettering daily routine of its officers and
men. In this capacity regimental ladies made big positive
impact on maintaining morale of the troops.
Any badges of the 96th Omsk Infantry Regiment are extremely
rare. According to the "Regimental Badges of Imperial
Russia" by Viktor Kempf published in 2012, not a single
officer badge in silver or silver and gold had been offered
for sale in international auction, whereas only a few
examples of the enlisted man's badge in brass were known to
exist, all in poor condition. It is also quite telling that
the very comprehensive reference book "Badges of Russia" by
Patrikeev and Boinovich apparently shows only a drawing of
the badge rather than a photo.
/See Viktor Kempf "Regimental Badges of Imperial Russia",
page 194; Patrikeev and Boinovich, "Badges of Russia,
Vol. 2", page 177/. .