Badge of the ODVF (Society of Friends of the Air Fleet),
Northwestern Chapter, 1923-25.
Silver, enamels. Measures 32.3 mm in height, 39.1 mm in
width; weighs 5.6 grams without screw plate. Extremely
elegant and well-made badge of multi-piece construction. Its
design is an epitome of the Constructivist style prevalent
in Soviet art of the mid-20s (by the end of the decade, it
would fall out of favor with the Kremlin masters and get
largely replaced with the burgeoning Socialist Realism).
Unlike the more common badges of the Northwestern ODVF, this
badge features a very detailed depiction of a biplane flying
almost directly toward the viewer and a vertically oriented
blue scroll with the name of the organization ending in a
stylized hammer & sickle emblem at the top.
The obverse on the upper wing on the left (to the viewer)
has an 84 silver hallmark, the old "Kokoshnik" model used
only until 1926, with a Greek character Alpha designating
the Petrograd (after 1924, Leningrad) assay inspection.
Additionally, the fuselage of the airplane has a Cyrillic
maker mark "MT" and a round assay inspection mark with
The badge is in excellent condition, absolutely superb for a
Soviet award from this period (before the formation of the
USSR). Both the blue enamel on the scroll and red enamels on
the stars are perfect (an examination under 10x loupe
reveals some surface rubbing to the stars that is completely
unnoticeable to the naked eye.) The perfect condition of the
blue scroll is especially unusual: this exposed part has
chips on nearly all the surviving examples of the badge.
The details of the airplane are likewise pristine and
beautifully crisp. Both the obverse and revers show very
attractive toning to silver. The three overlaying parts are
soundly attached and tight. The screw post measures
approximately 8 mm long; it may have been reduced by a
couple of mm for convenience but remains long enough for
proper functionality. The badge comes with original silver
screw plate showing a "Kokoshnik" hallmark.
This badge was awarded for donations or active participation
in the Northwestern Chapter of the society which included
Petrograd (later Leningrad) region. The production started
in 1923, when Lenin was still alive. Very few of these
survived to our days in anything like decent condition.
/See "Avers 8", fig. 1417.c/