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Old 10-12-2002, 01:55 PM   #1
d-riemer
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Folk-Art Badges

I am fascinated by the early badges of the Soviet Union with their folk-art-type designs. I wished I could project myself into the background of a badge, the originator, the designer, the jeweler, the recipient.

Here is an award for a leather worker showing a rifle and a crutch above the working man. Are these symbols supposed to show that he is motivated in his work by his desire to help the comrades wounded in the fight to secure the Soviet Union (state symbold attached at the top)?

What a great way to tell a story if one could just read it today.
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Old 10-12-2002, 02:36 PM   #2
Nota Bene
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Dietrich,

What a fantastic badge!

It is named to F. Sheremet, employee of a leather making factory in the city of Vasil'kov, so it is most likely a custom design. My guess would be that this factory employed WWI/Civil War invalids, so the rifle and the crutch would probably signify that invalids were protected in the Socialist State. At the same time it may also have an additional connotation that even invalids are still prepared to defend Socialism.

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Old 10-12-2002, 02:56 PM   #3
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Alexei,
thanks for filling in the story.

What does custom design mean? Just a few made for people in that particular factory? Did the factory manager go to a jeweler and describe his vision for such a badge and the ideas it was supposed to project?

I assume the party supplied a catalog of design ideas that could be incorporated in award badges because such a complicated design could hardly be conceived in a leather factory. But even the fabrication of such a badge is amazing if done in a small local shop.
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Old 10-12-2002, 03:05 PM   #4
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Dietrich,

Back then there were many small jewelery shops, and sometimes they came up with amazing designs. The factory had probably ordered a bunch of badges on occasion of its 3rd anniversary to be given to a handfull of good workers. So I believe that after so many years this may easily be one of the very few surviving pieces, if not the only one.

I don't think there were any design catalogs. It was not that strictly regulated :)

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Old 10-12-2002, 05:05 PM   #5
d-riemer
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Alexei,
thanks again. It is kind of a shame that I have this unique badge in a frame with many others. I was reminded of it when I scanned the artist badge that we discussed in a different thread.

The ribbons on the state seal on later medals indicate the number of Republics in the Soviet Union. If this seal is not just an artistic representation, the number of 6 Republics should provide an indication of the time it was issued, or were there never just 6 Republics?
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Old 10-13-2002, 06:28 PM   #6
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Dietrich,

There are actually seven ribbons. In this case six represent the republics, and the one in the middle - the USSR. This type of seal was used in 1925-1936, but judging from the design, style, inscriptions, etc. I would date this badge late 1920s.

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