Excellence in Antiaircraft Gunnery badge, NKPS variation, mid 1940s.
Brass, enamels; 46.1 x 38.8 mm. This early variation of the badge features wide shield and domed center medallion. The ornament above the shield consists of a wide scroll in the middle and two smaller scrolls on each side with well-defined border on top.
In excellent condition, very uncommon for a Soviet "combat proficiency" badge of WW2 era. The red center portion of the medallion has only a few minor contact marks and microscopic scratches while appearing perfect to the unaided eye and retaining extremely attractive luster. The white band has a couple of tiny surface flakes that are practically unnoticeable without magnification and a couple of miniscule manufacturing imperfections, but no significant wear of any kind. The enamel on the bottom part with searchlights is perfect. The fragile gray finish along the edge of the shield is almost entirely intact.
The details of the wreath are perfect and crisp; some of the original gilt finish is clearly visible in its recesses. Some of the original silver finish is still present on the reverse in the central area (which was protected by the screw plate). The screw post is full length, approx. 13 mm. Comes with original NKPS screw plate.
To summarize, this is an extremely attractive and uncommonly well-preserved piece.
/ See Breast Badges of the Red Army, 1941-1945, p. 117, fig. 2/.