Graduate's Badge of the Nikolaevskoye Cavalry School in St
Petersburg, circa 1909-1917.
Brass gilt, enamels; measures 38.6 mm in height, 43.9 mm in
width; weighs 15.6 g not including the wing nut. Three-piece
construction: the star of the Order of St. Andrew the First-
Called in the center is a separate superimposed part while
the front and rear halves of the badge are joined to create
a characteristically sculptured bulbous shape. The overall
design portrays a double-headed eagle of the Emperor
Nicholas I style with beautifully executed details. Note
that the crown, heads and necks of the eagle are fully
detailed even on the reverse - a feature typical for this
specific graduation badge but rarely found on other Russian
badges and jettons of the period. There is a stamped maker
mark 4 on the reverse.
In outstanding, excellent condition. The enamel and details
of the highly exposed Star of St. Andrew are extremely well-
preserved, practically perfect showing only microscopic
amount of wear. The gilt finish is likewise magnificently
preserved showing only the slightest wear on the reverse
along the edges. The details of the eagle are completely
pristine. The screw post measuring nearly 10 mm in length
may have been reduced by a few mm for convenience. The
unmarked wing nut is of the period and appears to be
original to the badge.
The Nikolaevskoye (or Nicholas') Cavalry School was founded
in 1823 by Alexander I. Initially it was a Guards NCO school
for young men of noble birth, but during the following three
decades it was gradually transformed into a purely cavalry
school. The graduation badge was established only in 1909.
Interestingly, although the school was disbanded in 1917
after the revolution, it briefly reopened in exile in the
early part of 1920s and during that time had four graduation
classes totaling 357 people.
/Patrikeev, Bojnovich, "Badges of Russia" Vol. 1, Fig.
Please note, penny in our photo is for size reference.