Crimean War Wax Seal Impression, 1854
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Overall: 12cm (4.75in) x 24.5cm (9.75in)
Wax seal impression contained in a card box laid down with archival tape, together with the card lid labelled in manuscript ink ‘IMPRESSION / of the Russian / official seal of / the Military School / BALAKLAVA’. Framed and glazed.
The present impression was probably taken from a seal recovered from the Balaclava battlefield; a vogue for such souvenirs being apparent from examples of other impressions taken from seals captured at the Battle of Navarino (1826) and in raids on Kertch (1855). The ‘Military School’ may refer to one or other of the cadet or junker schools first established for the nobility under Alexander I and later expanded by Nicholas I (1825-55) to train line infantry officers. The enlarged network covered the main cities and provinces of the Russian Empire, and to these were added the Imperial Page Corps, the Tsarkoe Selo Lyceum. By 1854 there were 16,000 cadets in twenty-two schools, exclusive of the specialist artillerists, engineers, and the medical branch.