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Imperial Russian Shoulder board collection

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I started my Imperial Russian collection back in 1975 long before all the fakes were being produced. Collecting shoulder boards among Imperial Russian collectors was a dog item or bastard child at the time. No one wanted them. All the Imperial Russian collectors wanted the orders, badges and swords. Cloth was considered left to the moths. I considered shoulder boards to be as equally rare if not rarer. As a teenager in the 70's, I could not afford a gold Saint Vlad for $200.00, but for 5 or 10 bucks could obtain a shoulder board. So thus my collection got started. And... believe me when I say that original shoulder boards were not easily found back then either. Now that I have a fairly large collection of original pieces, it is very easy to spot all the fakes coming out of Russia. To me, collecting Imperial Russian Shoulder boards was very fascinating because it told more of a story : Rank, unit, City the person came from and where on the front that person fought if you did some research. Today, these boards are very well sought after and rarer then the badges and orders everyone pursued.

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Oko, Mollo book is fine, but here is more serious refference on Russian pogoni by another world expert Gerard Gorokhoff, printed in one of few English edittions of the excellent French Militaria magaz

The rest of both articles is on other elements of the uniform, not on the shoulder boards in particular. However, there are some Russian books (in Russian of course) with very detailed schemes (no pic

From the Russian book "Five Centuries of the Russian Military Uniform" peaked caps and shoulder bords of the regiments from the 9th Infantry Division (33rd Eleckii and 34th Sevskii IR form 1st Brigad

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So the collecting moral of the story is to find a specialty niche and pursue it with devotion! :beer:

Beautiful Boards.

Those are good moral and standards to use and to collect by. If you collect what everyone else collects, then your collection is always substandard and everyone else knows more then you do. You will never become one of the leading experts. On the other side of the coin, collecting is also an investment. You collect something that is a unique and rare field and you become a leading expert in that area. You can write books with your collection photos published in these books, thus, you create a collecting interest and a demand for that particular item. Now, your items become desirable and priceless especially since it is published in a reference book. Sounds exciting don't it ? My life long dream of collecting. Now if I can only find the time ! :(

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I especially like your

2nd Kaukaus Division Pilot

Staff-Captain, Overcoat Style

Do you have any others like it? For instance, perhaps, a 3rd Squadron?

Very, very nice pieces to enjoy and to learn from. Thank you for sharing them.


I do have some other aviator pieces. these are extremely rare as a lot of these aviator shoulder boards were one of a kind pieces. I will have to make some photos and post them here.

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Excellent items. If you have the chance, I would like to see some of the unusual printed enlisted pieces. You have seen most of mine, but for the others here who seem to like these, here are a few.


9.Grenadier Regiment

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Chip, I don't think your "General, 40.Artillery Brigade" board is original, the other two boards look fine, but with this one digit "4" is very strange and the top two corners are not very straight, just does not look Imperial quality, certainly Greg can attest to that, hopefully I'm wrong.

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