RSFSR International Sports Tournament of 1920, Jeton for
Winning a First Prize.
Copper, paint; 51.7 x 31.8 mm. Shows an athlete with red
star above his head and stylized letters "RSFSR" (for
Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic") under his
feet. The writing in the scroll along the top edge is
1920". The semicircular line of writing in the lower
of the center field is "International Tournament". On the
reverse in its lower part is stamped maker mark
engraved lettering states that the award was given for
winning the 1st prize, probably in a combined event in
and field, with further abbreviations for specific
(which we couldn't decipher).
In very fine condition. The sculptured details including
discus thrower and scrolls are amazingly well preserved,
especially considering the age of this piece. Shows no
visible scratches, dings or edge knocks. The reverse is
similarly well preserved. Most of the paint on the star
worn off but some of it still remains along the edges.
eyelet is slightly twisted but still reliably attached.
The name Vseobuch is the Russian Newspeak acronym
Total Training. This organization was created by the
Bolsheviks in as early as the beginning of 1918 with the
explicit purpose of the basic military training of the
proletariat. Part of this was of course physical fitness;
therefore Vseobuch was the prime mover in organizing the
grand "sporting festivities" regularly held in Moscow.
first such event took place on the first anniversary of
organization in May 1919 and it was presided over by
himself (he was spotted wearing the first badge issued by
the organization for the occasion). The 1920 Tournament
apparently the second big sports festival of this nature.
Its "International" character was clearly to reflect the
newly found confidence of the Bolshevik government now
trying not only to woo the masses domestically but also
spread its influence and propaganda abroad.
This jeton is a rare representative of the dawn of the
Soviet era in medallic art, a truly striking and unique
/Vasiliy Ilyinskiy, "Sports Souvenirs", C. 1979 Moscow,
Progress publishing house, pp.15, 16/.