03-24-2013, 09:24 PM
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From neatorama.com -
Peter the Great (1672-1725), Tsar of Russia, wanted to Westernize his nation. To do so, among other actions, he required the men of Russia to shave their beards in imitation of the highborn men of Western Europe. Or alternatively, to pay a beard tax. Men who paid this tax were given a token as proof:
[Image: dFPnVC2.jpg]

On 16 January 1705, men 'of all ranks,' including merchants and artisans (but not priests, deacons and peasants), were ordered to shave. Anyone who wished to keep his beard and whiskers had to pay a fine on a sliding scale according to status: 60 roubles for nobles, military officers and chancellery officials, 100 roubles for merchants of the first guild, and so on. Permits took the form of a beard token disc obtainable from the Police Office. Bearded persons had to pay a kopeck each time they entered the city gates.

214 12,701
 03-24-2013, 09:42 PM
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fun information! i read about this russian beard tax recently but don't remember where. would be very cool to have such a token in my shave nook Smile

7 1,624
 03-24-2013, 11:47 PM
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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Wonderful info John, do you perchance possess one of these tokens?

101 18,029
 03-25-2013, 02:25 AM
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Replicas are available here http://www.beardtoken.com/

Originals are rare and expensive http://www.icollector.com/Russia-Peter-I...o_i6906812


5 361
 03-25-2013, 07:13 AM
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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In todays dollars, it would be cheaper to pay the fine than to own shave gear.

180 24,735
 03-25-2013, 10:52 AM
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Great information, John. Thanks for sharing it.

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