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Old 05-04-2005, 11:24 AM   #1
Chuck In Oregon
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Georgian Red Army Red Star

Just when you thought you knew all the Red Star variations ...

This is a Georgian Red Army senior officer's Red Star.

The Georgian Red Army only existed from 1921-1922. It's awards and award system is not recorded in any form that I am aware of. It is very unlikely that there were many GRA awards at all.

The GRA was the remnants of the Menshevik Army that were repatriated and absorbed into the Red Army after the conquest of the Caucasus/end of the Civil War. Its headquarters were in Tbilisi. Kind of ties in with the "Hero of the Capture of Tbilisi" badge that I posted yesterday.

This is a senior officer's Red Star from that army and period. It is thought to have been awarded to senior field commanders as well as senior headquarters staff officers. I believe that this badge is uncatalogued and unknown in the west.

The badge is in four parts, plus the screw post and screw plate. The badge is silver. The red enamel is transparent and you can count 25 rays underneath the enamel extending from the center of the badge outwards. The three Georgian letters appear to be solid gold. The badge has a tsarist hallmark -- either Moscow, Tula or Nizhni-Novgorod -- and an 84. The screw plate is separately hallmarked.

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File Type: jpg GE Officer's Red Star.jpg (14.7 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg GE Officer's Red Star 02.jpg (14.1 KB, 48 views)
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Old 05-04-2005, 12:45 PM   #2
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Do you own this piece?
Matthijs P.
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Old 05-04-2005, 10:26 PM   #3
Chuck In Oregon
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Originally Posted by DutchBoy

Do you own this piece?
Well, yes I do. Those images came off of my scanner this morning.

I have been very lucky with my friends and contacts in Georgia who have tried to find me some rare and unusual things over the past 42 months. I don't have all that many really rare pieces, but those that I do own tend to be pretty eye-opening. I love it when I can coax a "WOW!" out of someone. All I ask in return is that you show me the things you like and are proud of. I like to say wow almost as much as I like to hear it.

I only have one or two more Georgia-specific awards to share that I think will interest people. I'm glad we have an Imperial Russia sub-forum now because I have some pretty good Imperial items to share in a little while. I also have some nice Soviet groups and even a couple of really nice Imperial groups with photos.
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Old 05-05-2005, 10:19 PM   #4
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Chuck, are Soviet orders easy to find in Georgia ?
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Old 05-06-2005, 01:07 AM   #5
Chuck In Oregon
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Originally Posted by Soviet
Chuck, are Soviet orders easy to find in Georgia ?
It used to be fairly easy to find good Soviet orders, medals and badges in Georgia. There is one main flea market, the Dry Bridge, in Tbilisi. My first visit to Georgia was in 2001 and back then I was a new collector and I turned down things I would love to own now. There was a lot to choose from. Of course, old-timers back then were already talking about the good old days of early independence when even more was available.

Today it is really different. The Dry Bridge still exists but it is very difficult to find anything interesting there. There are a handful of regulars who haunt it early in the day every day just to see if anyone brings in something interesting to sell. All of those regulars have their own good buyers, guys like me, and they know that they can turn a profit in one day if they can buy right and fast. The days of having a half-dozen stalls of medals and badges to wander around and look through are gone forever. There are still a few vendors who cater to tourists and newcomers and charge ridiculously high prices for the most trivial medals, badges and znachki. No collector really takes them seriously.

Of course, good things do continue to come to market. Finding and buying them, well, that's a different problem altogether. I have two good Georgian friends who are really knowledgeable collectors in their own right. They know what I'm looking for and they will buy for me with full confidence that I won't stiff them on a deal or quibble about a price that may have been more than we expected. They are more than worth their money and I think of their profits as well-earned finder's fees. I think they are the very best of all the guys there. They are smart and very good at their jobs and we both know it. We enjoy our time together, have some laughs and drink some cappuccinos, they make a few bucks and I get some nice things for my collections or for re-sale. We have a mutual respect and we trust each other. My Georgian friends are the thing that made my time there enjoyable.

There are also some major Moscow buyers who visit Tbilisi, Yerevan and Baku looking for things to take back to Moscow for re-sale. Those guys are hawks and they have a lot of ready cash and they are driving prices up fast. The Moscow market is red hot. I have passed on a couple of things, only to change my mind an hour or two later and want to do the deal. Too late, the items had already gone to Moscow or been sold over the phone to a Moscow buyer.

So I'm sorry to say that the short answer to your question is "no".

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