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Decoration Medal for the Battle of Kalish

1706

Gold, enamel, diamonds, aquamarines H 94 mm, w 55 mm

On 18 October 1706, Russian troops led by Alexander Menshikov routed the Swedes at Kalish after a three-hour battle. There were some 5,000 dead and another 5,000 were taken prisoner, with minimal casualties sustained by the Russians 84 dead and 324 wounded. There was also considerable booty in the form of 3 regimental cannons, 400 flintlock rifles and 85 banners.

The battle was a major achievement of Russian military prowess during the Great Northern War. In keeping with an old Russian tradition, all those who took part in the battle received awards of various types: soldiers were awarded silver altyn (3-kopeck pieces) and the officers were awarded gold medals of different sizes and weights, according to their rank. The Kalish medals for officers are of eight different types. The Hermitage has two decoration medals of the Battle of Kalish for colonels which, unlike usual medals of the time, are oval-shaped with a frame decorated with gems and enamel, very similar to the miniature imperial portrait awards known as personi.. The medal was made by the Saxon medal engraver Gottfried Haupt, who worked at the Admiralty Mint in Moscow from 1704 to 1711. The frame was probably painted by G.S. Musikiysky, a well-known miniaturist of Peter I's day.

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