Hat badge of State Militia Units for Non-Christians, Reign of Nicholas II, 1895- 1917.
Stamped brass, relief reverse construction; 42.4 mm tall x 45.2 mm wide. Features cypher of Emperor Nicholas II and motto "For Tsar and Fatherland!"
Very fine to excellent overall condition. The raised details of the obverse are perfectly preserved and crisp. The brass exhibits attractive even toning, free of pitting or significant oxidation. The edge is completely free of the usual dings and bumps. Three of the four original attachment prongs on the reverse are still present and completely sound (caveat emptor: we cannot guarantee their functionality; if you try to bending them, you do it at your own risk).
The first badges of militia units date back to the Patriotic War of 1812 when Russian militia was instrumental in reducing the retreating Napoleon's invasion army to shreds. During the reign of Alexander II, non-Christians in militia units received a special octagon-shaped badge with the motto "For Tsar and Fatherland", whereas the motto of standard cross-shaped badges for Christians had the motto "For Faith and Tsar". Badges of Alexander III period were initially very similar to the original 1812 design in that regard, but in 1890 the word "Fatherland" was added to the motto of badges for Christians, while the non-Christian version remained the same. Please note, penny in our photo is for size reference.
/Patrikeev and Boinovich, "Badges of Russia, Vol. 2", page 488, fig. 11.16.a/
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