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     Home > IMPERIAL RUSSIA > Imperial Russian Badges

    Badge of a Graduate of the Alexandrovskoe Military School, 1909-1917.

    Badge of a Graduate of the Alexandrovskoe Military School, 1909-1917.

    Silver, gold (monograms and shoulder board), enamels. Measures 38.6 mm in height, 38.4 mm in width; weighs 19.5 grams without the screw plate; the screw plate weighs 6.0 g. The badge is of magnificent quality greatly surpassing the far more common issues in brass. Its main body consists of three separate parts carefully joined by wires: the white cross, the red center medallion with white band, and the emblem of the school: a pelican feeding its young with its own flesh (symbolizing care for the orphans.) The superimposed monograms in solid gold on three of the arms of the cross are of three emperors: Alexander III, Alexander II, and Nicholas II. The lower arm has a superimposed cadet's shoulder board in gold and enamel. Writing in the white band around the center medallion is Александровское Военное Училище ("Alexandrovskoe Military School"), 1830- 1851-1863.

    The reverse shows silver hallmark "84" with Kokoshnik and character alpha (for St. Petersburg assay inspection) as well as additional round Kokoshnik assayer's hallmark and Cyrillic maker mark АБ ("AB".) The badge comes with original silver screw plate (which probably originally served as a washer) showing a matching АБ maker mark and round assay inspection Kokoshinik hallmark. The screw plate was customized by adding a pin with European style catch for convenience of wearing the badge on a civilian jacket. This was likely done by a local jeweler on commission by the original owner, during his years in exile.

    Fine to very fine overall condition. There are two small repairs to the white enamel. One is to the upper arm, under the numeral II of the Nicholas II monogram. The other one is on the lower portion of the Cadet's shoulder board. There is also a surface flake to the upper portion of the shoulder board. It is interesting to see that the flake did not affect the upper part of the red monogram of Alexander II which is still legible. This is due to the fact that the red inscription was painted onto the white enamel before it was finished with glaze, much like on higher-end porcelain items - as opposed to inscribing it over the glaze. This laborious process ensured the durability of the inscription.

    Beside the two repairs, the white enamel has only a couple of tiny flakes in the corners of the right arm, a miniscule hairline in the upper left corner of the left arm, and a microscopic surface flakes and contact marks elsewhere that are completely unnoticeable to the naked eye. None of the damage is glaring or even very noticeable, and the white enamel fully retains its magnificent overall appearance and luster. The dark red enamel in the center is perfect, and so are the details of the silver pelican and its chicks.

    The reverse of the badge is pristine and exhibits beautiful patina to silver over the clearly visible original fire gilt finish. The attachment wires are perfectly tight and sound. The screw post was reduced to approximately 7.5 mm for convenience, apparently at the same time when the pin was added to the washer (the screw post's current length makes it perfect in combination with the pin.)

    The school origins date to the foundation of the Alkesandrinskiy Orphans Institute in 1830. The measure was a direct response to that year's cholera epidemic in Moscow which had orphaned many children of civil servants and military officers. The school was created under the auspices of Alexandra Fedorovna, the wife of Emperor Nicholas I, and it therefore was named after her. From the very beginning, its study program resembled that of junior military academies. During the following twenty years, the girls were transferred to a different location and the school was officially transformed into Alkesandrinskiy Orphan Junior Military School (Cadet Corps). In 1863, the school was closed and Alexndrovskoe Military School (Voennoe Uchilishche) was created on its base. /See Patrikeev and Bojnovich "Badges of Russia" Vol.1, p. 48 and Gurkovskiy, Cadet Corps of the Russian Empire, Vol. 1, pp. 257-263/.

    Item# 33841


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