This Old Pin

Pin, front.
Pin, front

HTBS editor Göran R Buckhorn writes:

HTBS received an e-mail from Jeff S., who has a question:

‘In the 1960s and early 1970s, I rowed with my school and a couple of clubs in Philadelphia…Bachelor’s and Malta. My hands hurt for years after from being in freezing water for long periods!

I found the rowing pin pictured, but cannot identify it, nor do I know anything about it. The pin is cloissone, not painted. I wonder if HTBS and its readers might be able to help me figure out where it is from and if there is anyone who might want it for their collection? It is of nice quality and about 20 mm in diameter – thank you.’

Pin, back
Pin, back

It looks like a Russian, or more correctly, a pin from the Soviet Union era. It has the year 1948 on the back.

Is there any of HTBS’s contributors or readers who have any good ideas where Jeff’s pin is from and the history behind it?

Please contact HTBS with your information: gbuckhorn – at – gmail – dot – com or write a comment below. Thank you!


  1. From the inscription on the front this appears to be for the NEVA BIG CUP. You can find a number of similar pins for yachting and rowing on eBay.

    (The River Neva flowers through Leningrad.)

    The inscription on the back says this is a pin for competition participants for the “Leningrad Evening” – perhaps a social event for the competitors?

  2. Dear Tillerman ~ thank you very much, I think that this is exactly what Jeff S. was looking for.

  3. It sounds as if rowing and yachting have been going on for a long time in St. Petersburg/ Leningrad – with the Neva Yacht Club having a legitimate claim for being the oldest yacht club in the world.

  4. Thank you all very much for your thoughtful comments. I spoke with a young Russian fellow today at a tennis match and he confirmed your translations as “The Big Neva Cup” on the front and on the reverse “Evening Leningrad” and “Competition Participant”. He thought the Evening Leningrad may have been a newspaper. The Soviets did not participate in the 1948 Olympics in the UK but it looks like they still got to race at home!

    All the best,

    Jeff Simmons

  5. Found similar in Dick Erickson collection. Same inscription on Front, nothing inscribed on back, different clasp. Looks older, probably mid-1950’s, when he first went to USSR. Could be from early ’70’s, he returned then. Photos posted on Twitter in your post.

    • Thanks for your response. Now that I know what it is (and nobody seems to collect them), I am going to give it to a friends daughter who is on the rowing team of a New York college. Hmmm, I wonder if the girls trade jerseys at the end of a race?

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