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Imperial Officer's Shoulder Boards

Article about: I haven't been able to identify the cypher on these boards. Anyone know? The nine point coronet would indicate a count but who is Count "K" and what regiment was named after him?

  1. #1
    pjm
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    Default Imperial Officer's Shoulder Boards

    I haven't been able to identify the cypher on these boards. Anyone know?

    The nine point coronet would indicate a count but who is Count "K" and what regiment was named after him?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Imperial Officer's Shoulder Boards

    K - Konstantin? The crown looks to me like not a Russian a probably regiment of foreign prince?
    Regards,
    Dimas

    my Skype: warrelics

  3. #3
    pjm
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    Default Re: Imperial Officer's Shoulder Boards

    It's possibly a foreign Count but the coronet is also used as a Russian symbol for this rank. See Historical Crowns and Coronets and scroll down to find it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Imperial Officer's Shoulder Boards

    These were Russian Dragoons officer shoulder-boards of the WWI-period manufacture, but someone have added German-made crowns and monogramms on them. It was VERY, VERY BAD idea.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Imperial Officer's Shoulder Boards

    Actually, this is NOT a very bad idea! Quite clever I'd say. I wouldn't bet that this particular pair are originals – however, they are rather accurately conforming to what a pair of shoulder boards from the following outfit would have looked like: Escort Squadron to the Commander-in-Chief of the Western Volunteer Army, Prince Avalov-Bermondt (regulations of 29th October 1919).

    It is fully correct that the "K" monogram is German army issue: EM pattern for Kraftfahrtruppen (motor transport units). The coronet is probably also of German manufacture. Avalov-Bermondt's troops were equipped by the Germans and they most likely also received their "K" monograms and coronets from German sources. This doesn't rule out original RIA "K" monograms, but those must have been much harder to obtain, if not impossible, in 1919.

    To my knowledge, there are at least two surviving, original WVA Avalov-Bermondt shoulder boards around. One of them has a smaller, officer's pattern German Army "K" monogram attached and a similar coronet. Same story - probably supplied by the Germans.

    BTW, the crowned "K" was in honour of Count (hence the coronet) Keller (murdered in 1918), naming the 1st Western Corps - Count Keller Corps.

  6. #6
    pjm
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    Default Re: Imperial Officer's Shoulder Boards

    Thank you for this fascinating post.

    As a collector of over 40 years, I have learned that there are far more things in heaven and earth than dreamt of in a collector's imagination.

    We know much about official regulations of major armies in major wars but little about obscure ones. To me, the latter can be far more fascinating.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Imperial Officer's Shoulder Boards

    hi svedskij , and welcome to the forum what a fantastic first post , very interesting and i hope those boards are originals for you pjm for the rarity value , they certainly look good !

    cheers al

  8. #8

    Default Re: Imperial Officer's Shoulder Boards

    Hi pjm and Al,

    thanks, glad to be able to share. RIA and RCW shoulder boards is a complicated – and fascinating – topic. Lots of fakes and fantasy items out there, but we shouldn't rule out the oddballs without giving them a fair amount of scrutiny.

    For pjm, I also hope the boards are originals! If not, the person behind their creation is at least a very knowledgeable person. Always alot more to be said, but in my humble opinion, the current owner should be quite happy with them. Fascinating unit – once commanded by a very colourful and bizarre figure; "Prince" Pavel Avalov-Bermondt.

  9. #9
    pjm
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    Default Re: Imperial Officer's Shoulder Boards

    The boards were acquired at a German militaria show (maybe the one in Haiger) in the late 1970's or 80's.

    At the time, I collected Imperial, Civil War and Soviet Russian items - I liked the history and the look - and there was no reference material except very basic Soviet resources and black and white photocopies of the French charts of RIA uniforms.

    Russian militaria occasionally turned up along with German groupings from WW1 and WW2. There were few collectors for it at the time. RIA items were generally souvenirs taken by German soldiers like cockades, belt buckles, kindjals and Saint George Crosses; Soviet ranged from orders and medals to map cases and bits of equipment captured and used on the Eastern Front.

    When I acquired these boards the dealer couldn't say what they were. They looked Russian and had RIA buttons, I liked them, they were cheap (DM 80, I believe and I probably haggled and paid less) so I bought them.

    When I compared them to the Russian uniform chart I was frustrated because the cypher didn't match any. I thought they could be Bulgarian. However, I also considered the fact that the chart represented only what was regulation for that moment in time. The boards could be earlier or later, obsolete or for something other than military like Judicial , a school or other uniformed Imperial Russian service.

    I also have some great photos of a unit of Hetman Skoropadsky's troops in a photo album of a German aviator who was stationed at a Russian aerodrome near Kiev. I should post them.

    Thank you Svedskij~!

  10. #10
    pjm
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    Default Re: Imperial Officer's Shoulder Boards

    Found this Pavel Bermondt-Avalov - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The photo shows Avalov-Bermondy with the familiar cypher and coronet and the second from September 1919 wit Von der Goltz.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

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