That's a fine inscription, Maxim. My knowledge of Russian letterforms is minimal, but is it possible that these dense, narrow and hardly-seriffed letters are a slight echo of the old pre-Peter letters? In other words, a bit of national sentiment? (Or they might just relate to the narrow German roman caps that were often used.)
Triangular terminals in the Ц, Б, Yat', Д, and the Ъ certainly feel archaic (see a sample of the ustav style below), but the M with is raised vertex, and, of course, the showy У look very much [post-]Petrine.
That plaque doesn't look right. Surely its architect would have done a better job of configuring the plaque to accomodate the general's name.
Perhaps the monument was originally created for someone with a shorter name. (The fortunes of war...)
Another reason that the plaque looks like a revision is the naive quality of the lettering (note the "flipped" stress of De and A), compared to the sophistication of the other metalwork.
However, even if the plaque is later than the monument, it would be difficult to date without some form of historical documentation (such as a photo or engraving of the monument which showed the plaque).
At least it's not Trajan or Bembo.
When I first read this excellent discussion on Egyptian types I seem to remember an image of a lottery bill (or similar item) with wood engraved Egyptian letters which seems to have disappeared. Was this the first printed appearance of Egyptians? Was the date 1810? And what has happened to this rather important image? Perhaps it was in another discussion area... Can anyone help?
James, you should be studying my update. This is what Justin Howes found in the British Library – somewhere. It is indeed a wood engraving, not type.
Thankyou very much James. So the lottery bill was on your blog and never was a part of this discussion. Is that correct? Obviously apart from the blog (for which I have boundless admiration) this image greatly enriches the present discussion. And what a charming and highly interesting piece of ephemeral printing it is too. Look at the pound sign (like some of the pre-euro Italian Lira signs). I've never seen a lottery bill in two colours either. Justin really was quite a sleuth to have unearthed it.