In the years before World War One, the Imperial Nicholas Military Academy in Russia purchased several thousand handguns from FN for resale to its officer candidates and graduates. These were mostly FN 1900 and FN 1905 models, although also a small number of FN 1903s. The pistols were marked with a pair of crossed Mosin Nagant rifles and and inventory number, making them easily identifiable as Russian-purchase pistols today. Both blued and nickel-plated examples were purchased, although the majority (like this one) were nickeled. Most of the purchases were about 1908 and 1909, and that is evident in this example, which is the early pattern of FN 1905 without a thumb safety.
Thanks to Legacy Collectibles for the loan of the pistol!