Russian Empire, Badge of a Physician with Medical Doctor's Degree, by a Saint Petersburg maker, 1897-1899.
Silver, enamels; 54.6 mm in height, 43.8 mm; weighs 24.6 g without the wing nut. The badge is of die-struck domed construction. The double- headed eagle, crown, heads of the serpents and wreath are beautifully detailed.
On the obverse of badge, at the bottom of the swallow-tail ends of the ribbon tying the wreath, there are two hallmarks: on the left, initials of the maker "ЛЗ" (Cyrillic "LZ") and on the right, silver hallmark "84" with the St. Petersburg assay inspection emblem of crossed anchors and scepter. The latter narrows the period of manufacture to just two years, from 1897 to early 1899: between the year when the badge was instituted and the year when the assay marks changed to the more familiar "Kokoshniks". This means that this specimen is one of the first Russian M1897 Medical Doctor's badges ever produced. The badge comes with original wing nut in silver showing a matching maker mark "LZ" and a small St. Petersburg silver hallmark of crossed anchors and scepter.
The badge is in excellent condition. The turquoise enamel on the snakes and chalice is nearly perfect - a rather uncommon case for this badge since the enameled portions are highly exposed and prone to damage - and retains magnificent luster. Its only flaw are a couple of tiny surface chips at the leg and right edge of the chalice, not penetrating to silver and therefore nearly unnoticeable to the naked eye. The details of the artwork are exceptionally crisp and show no wear visible even under a 10x magnification.
The screw post is of full length, over 20 mm, and is perfectly straight. The treads are in excellent shape providing smooth but tight grip for the original wing nut. Condition-wise, this is an outstanding example of the earliest Russian MD badge!
/See Patrikeev, Bojnovich, Badges of Russia, Vol. I, fig. 1.1.37 (note the correction in Vol. III)/
Please note, penny in our photo is for size reference.
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