Jetton of a District Manager in Russia's First National Census in 1897.
22mm wide by 34mm high. Multi-part insignia in silver and enamel. Inscription on a "belted garter" identifies the wearer as the census manager of a district and the year as "1897". The inscription encircles an imperial eagle mounted over a red/blue/white enamel insert. Pre-1899 silver hallmark shows the number "84" and the symbol for an unknown Russian city. There is also an unidentified silversmith's hallmark of "AB" (in Cyrillic).
Excellent condition. Shows virtually no wear.
An official bronze medal on a white/blue/red ribbon was given to all of the civil servants and military personnel who participated in the taking of the 1897 Russian census - the successful completion of which, considering the sheer size of the Empire and the limited means of transport and communication in many areas, was nothing short of a miracle. Since the taking of a census is not generally regarded by the "man in the street" as anything terribly noteworthy, the chance that this was a commemorative piece offered for sale to the public is minimal. The District Manager inscription indicates that this jetton was either awarded to a district census manager or perhaps worn by one as a symbol of his office.
With the prominent double-headed eagle backed up by an enameled insert in the colors of the Russian flag, this is about the most "patriotic" pre-revolutionary jetton that we have ever seen.
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