Badge of the ODVF (Society of Friends of the Air Fleet), Northwestern Chapter, 1923 issue.
Silver, enamels. Measures 33.1 mm in height, 36.6 mm in width; weights 7.4 g without the screw nut, 8.7 g overall. This elegant badge in early Constructivist style is of fine workmanship and riveted multi-piece construction. It is the first version of the Northwestern ODVF badge featuring the date "1923" inside the red star (as opposed to the 1924-25 version of the same badge which has the letters "CCCP" [USSR] instead.)
On the obverse on the handle of the hammer near the star is imperial-style "Kokoshnik" 84 silver hallmark (used only until 1926) with a Greek character Alpha designating the Petrograd (St. Petersburg) assay inspection. There is also a round assay inspection mark with "Kokoshnik" near the tip of the sickle.
The badge is in very fine to excellent condition, outstanding for a Soviet award from this period (before the formation of the USSR). The red enamel on the star - the most vulnerable part of the badge - is perfect and shows beautiful luster. The blue enamel on the scroll also appears pristine to the unaided eye, although a careful examination with a 10x loupe reveals a tiny chip under the hammer of the sickle which is unnoticeable without magnification. This is really the only flaw of this otherwise perfect piece.
The details of the artwork including the airplane are beautifully crisp and show no wear. The attachment wires holding the parts of the badge together are intact and tight, although they allow a small degree of flexing to the red star (it nevertheless remains firmly in place even if the badge is shaken). There is very attractive untouched patina to silver throughout. The screw post is of full length, over 9 mm. The badge comes with original silver screw plate showing the matching "Kokoshnik" hallmark.
The badge was awarded for donations or active participation in the Northwestern Chapter of the society which included Petrograd (later Leningrad) region. The version with the 1923 date was issued for only a year or less, replaced in 1924 by the version with the inscription "CCCP". The latter, although also quite scarce, appears about twice as often as the 1923 model.
/See Avers 8, fig. 1416.c/
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