Order of the Red Banner of Labor, Type 6, Variation 1, "hammer on top of the sickle" version, #388547, circa late 1950s.
Silver gilt, enamels; measures 47.7 mm in height (incl. eyelet), 36.9 mm in width; weighs 36.3 g not including the suspension and connecting link. A very early version of the "hollow back" Type 6, this specimen features a very distinctive hammer and sickle emblem: the handle of the hammer goes over the sickle (in the same manner as on Type 5 and the earlier types). Vast majority of the Type 6 have the later style emblem, with handle of the hammer under the sickle. Judging by the serial number, the award was probably issued in the late 1950s, early during the Khrushchev's reign.
In very fine to excellent condition. There red enamel on the banner shows beautiful luster and appears perfect to the naked eye. There is a single microscopic surface flake at the fold of the banner near its lower edge, but it is invisible to the naked eye. The banner is otherwise pristine, free of scratches, significant flaking, rubbing or other damage. The enamel on the red star has surface chips and flakes to the lower arm, but the area is so tiny that the damage is practically unnoticeable. The white and blue enamels in the center are perfect. The gilt finish on the wreath and hammer & sickle emblem is well preserved. There is nice, even patina to the silver parts.
The order comes on an original suspension device, an early two-layer model in steel. The connecting link between the medallion and suspension appears to be original and its ends are still joined with solder. The old, probably original ribbon shows wear, minor amount of rust staining along the lower edge, and significant amount of fading. It is however still perfectly sound and very attractive. We think it's nice to preserve it exactly the way it is as it adds great deal of character to the award, but in case the new owner prefers a brand-new ribbon, we will include a length of it at no extra charge.
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