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"War of Russia against the Germans.
Heroic Feat of the Sotnik Botkin", stone lithograph, circa January 1915. Unwilling to surrender, a heroic Russian officer refuses to surrender and decides to "go down fighting."

Medium size: measures 16" x 21 3/4". Marked in the margin with the lithographic printing division of the Krylov Trading House in Moscow.

Discovered and attacked by a German patrol while on reconnaissance mission in East Prussia, a Russian Cossack officer named Botkin lost his horse in a firefight. He ordered the rest of his scouts to rush to the regiment's headquarter and deliver the information that had been collected, while he alone covered their escape. Determined to die fighting rather than surrender, Botkin is shown in his final moments. From the picture, it is clear that he has already slain seven Germans - from the rifles and bayonets pointed at him, however, it is doubtful how many more Germans he will be able to slay before he succumbs to his wounds. According to the caption, Botkin was posthumously awarded with Order of St. George (the archival records indeed confirm the 29 December 1914 award).

The print is in excellent condition. The colors are vibrant. There are only a very few tiny tears in the border area - but they are so small as to be virtually unnoticeable; otherwise there are no folds, stains or creases. Without exaggeration, we can say that looking this sheet is the closest you can come to feeling like a customer in a Moscow print shop during the Great War.

Item# 31116

$230.00  Add to cart

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