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About Mathomhaus

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  1. Probably not. I've been fortunate to have a couple dozen imperial regimental and award badges pass through my hands over the years and I found that very few screwplates proved to be interchangeable (although there was occasionally consistency in threading among pieces manufactured by the same company or jeweler). Regards
  2. Two very generic observations: First, I have seen so many fakes since the 90s with screwplates marked Kortman that I won't consider buying an award or regimental badge so marked. Second, while there's not a good close-up of the Russian silver hallmark anywhere in the four photos, there's enough of it showing here and there for me to think that it's completely bogus. Fakers have been struggling with faking Russian hallmarks for years but if you have some basic familiarity with the originals, the "tells" are always there to see. Regards.
  3. It's not just photos where Soviet soldiers show up with IIIR daggers! Regards
  4. Interesting to see that Marshal Peresypkin has been honored with a medal; he has one of the more interesting graves in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow. Thanks for showing the medal and his portrait. Regards
  5. I used to be a regular dealer at a militaria show in suburban NYC back in the 80s and 90s. At one show, the wife of a very prominent and well regarded dealer stopped by my tables with a message from her husband: I should be on my guard because there was a Russian fellow approaching dealers at the show with gold Order of St. Stanislaus badges that looked good but were very definitely recently made. On my guard, I passed on the crosses when I was approached. What eventually happened at that and apparently other shows was that the faker couldn't sell his wares. Why? Well, dealers who weren't interested in Russian orders were not about to pay his prices (even if the crosses were made of gold) and those dealers who were attuned to Russian medals knew enough to steer completely clear of his pretty baubles. A few months later, I went to the huge midwinter trade show for gift shop dealers at the Javitts Center in NYC and discovered on one of the dealer's tables a selection of gold St.Stanislaus badges on fine chains with large crystals in the centers of the crosses in place of the saint's monogram.. Apparently, the NYC jeweler who had been counterfeiting the badges had given up trying to flog his products as original to collectors and dealers and was trying at that point to recoup his investment by selling everything he'd made as very high end costume jewelry! Regards
  6. Many imperial badges as well all of the old orders are being extensively faked and sold in Russian museum gift shops and high end stores, primarily to tourists. There was even a selection on offer in the St. Petersburg Mint gift shop at one point in 2005 or 2006; while in that shop, I once overheard two Germans debating whether the copies were good enough to pass off as real. They finally decided not to invest in them. I doubt that explanations as to the fakes' true nature are ever offered to the tourists who buy them. Other than a few batches that were sold at gun shows in Maryland and elsewhere in the mid-90s by enterprising Russians, most of the fakes I've seen here in the US were originally sold in Russia as costume jewelry! Regards
  7. You need to find a copy of Marshals and Fleet Admirals of the Soviet Union by Anatoly Kutsenko. All of Ustinov's awards are itemized in there, including what he received from "fraternal" socialist states. Regards
  8. The use of emojis / emoticons in posts sometimes confuses me. For example, I have no idea if your black cat is supposed to mean anything. It's sort of like looking at all of the charms soldered to the front of one of my cigarette cases - what are most of them supposed to mean? Elephants = good luck, da? Two and a half years ago, I really thought that your placement of an emoticon at the end of your statement was a subtle way you were indicating that you had doubts about whether the badge in question was actually a cockade. Regards
  9. Glad to be of help. I'm off on holiday right now and cannot immediately get to my books. Most publications about Imperial Russian badges and militaria are out of print. They have limited print runs and are almost immediately bought up by collectors; I do not know what the situation may be in Russian libraries, but I'm willing to bet that no libraries in North America will have copies of the main "badge" books -- which were written by Patrikeev & Bodjnovich (three volume set) and by Robert Werlich (one volume, different printings; also written "before the wall came down" and not always as accurate or comprehensive as P&B). Not to be discouraging, but even if you do find any of these books, the most they will provide you is confirmation of the name of the school that awarded the badge and the date that it was created/authorized. I'm guessing that your best chance to find helpful/interesting information about the academy your Grampa attended will be if it had an existence well into the Soviet period. Draw some comfort from the fact that you are not the first person to be frustrated when trying to research militaria. I have a jetton (small badge on a chain worn suspended from a uniform button) that went to men in an Imperial Russian railway engineer institute (Paul: #176 in Ivanov) . Part of the design is a precise copy of the same frog that appears on the famous British-made "Frog Service" china of Catherine the Great. My pet theory is that at one point the Institute was located in the former palace where the Frog Service was originally used but I'll probably never confirm it... Good luck with your research! Regards
  10. AhHa! Thanks. Not the first time I've missed something going through Patrikeev. I had even looked through Werlich! Rather than chalk this one up to age, I should probably face the fact that trying to conduct late night research while periodically refilling a tumbler of Stoli Cranberi is not a brilliant idea on my part! Regards
  11. Please permit me to make a few observations about your erstwhile cockade. The design is that of graduation badges from a specific category of Imperial Russian university or academy. I have gone through all of my references and I cannot locate a badge with a similar monogram affixed to its base, so I am unable to say what academic institution it is supposed to represent. I can tell you that even if your ancestor chose to wear it on a hat, what you have started out as a badge he would have been expected to wear on the right breast of his uniform coat (that is if it is over, say, 40/50mm+ in height). If it is only about 25mm in height, it started almost certainly out as a lapel pin that he initially wore on his lapel when he was wearing a civilian coat (probably when traveling outside of Russia; a lot of officers were like Nicholas II and never wore civvies when inside Russia). Please understand that I am not questioning your family tradition. It's just that while there were a few imperial cockades that were not simply composed of two or three "coincentric" ovals, the more complex ones usually had a couple of staple-like tines on the reverse so they could be permanently attached to a cap band. You should not complain: if it is a graduation badge and you can one day identify what institution awarded it, it will have a value geometrically larger than any cap badge could ever have! Regards
  12. Thanks for the link to the parade footage - and the pictures of this year's medal. A big surprise this year was that in addition to all the naval officers with dirks, a lot of other officers, including men wearing berets, were wearing daggers, too. As I recall, last year, you had to watch very closely to see anyone wearing a dagger, this year there were literally hundreds in evidence... Interesting, too, other than one unit of female Suvorov cadets wearing those crazy white hair-poofs with their uniforms, there were virtually zero women in this year's parade.. In the post parade footage when Putin shook hands with the officers who had commanded each of the units in the parade, the only man he seemed to say more than two or three words to was the officer who was apparently in charge of the Suvorov women - and it was very hard to tell if Putin was actually chewing him out. One very clear view of the war minister made it obvious that he was wearing dagger hangers with cheaply stamped brass fittings. I had assumed that he'd have a belt and hangers with the same high quality heavy gold plated general officer's hardware as used in the Cold War era. Also interesting, he was again wearing some sort of a War Ministry eagle badge that I assume is a Federation issued 300th Anniversary badge copying the earlier, 200th anniversary one from the Imperial era? Regards, .
  13. They are all "artillerymen" in the picture and it was taken in Sebastopol in October of 1920. The standing woman is 2nd Lt. Nadezhda Zaborskaia (committed suicide in exile), the seated woman with her cap in her hand is Zinaida Gotgard (also committed suicide in exile), and the woman with the dog is Valentina Lozovskaia. Regards
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