Made by G.C. and J.G. Waechter, on one side of the medal was an effigy of Count Grigory Grigorievich Orlov, who was the Empress’ principal lover and led the coup which overthrew Catherine's husband Peter III and installed Catherine as Empress. The other side showed Orlov on horseback with a view of Moscow in the background. It was estimated at £9,000-£12,000 [Lot 558]. This medal was part of a Collection of 82 Russian Historical Medals that had been the Property of a Gentleman, which had been collected in the 1960s and 70s and made a combined total of £172,093.
Tim Wilkes, Specialist in Charge, Coin Department, Dix Noonan Webb, commented: “We were very pleased with the Russian sale, which went very well, especially the medals. Nearly all the lots in this sale sold in the room to Russian buyers; very little sold to the commission or internet. The majority of the buyers were known to us and were not London-based, mostly from Russia. They had travelled over for the sale, and possibly also for Coinex next week.”
He continued: “The high prices were largely due to two factors. Firstly, many of the medals were in exceptionally good condition, and condition is ever more important nowadays. Secondly, the buyers were attracted by the fact that this was an old collection and most of these medals had not been on the market for several decades.”
Other notable highlights in the sale was a gold medal that was awarded to servicemen and civil officials who fought the plague epidemic in Odessa, dating from 1837, that sold for £19,840, almost five times its pre-sale estimate of £3,000-4,000. 344 of these medals were struck in gold and 117 in silver [Lot 634].
A very fine and rare silver medal by T. Ivanov and P. Bobrovshikov from the reign of Catherine the Great (1762-96), commemorating the Establishment of Provinces, 1775, sold for £10,540 against an estimate of £2,000-2,600 [Lot 560], while an extremely fine and very rare silver medal depicting the Coronation of Catherine the Great (1762-96) from 1762, by T. Ivanov and G.C. Waechter, showing a crowned bust of the Empress, who was the country's longest-ruling female leader, on one side and Russia and Faith standing at an altar, with Providence in the cloud above holding a crown and sceptre, on the other, sold for £9,300 (est: £3,000-£4,000) [Lot 550].
From the reign of Alexander I (1801-25), a silver medal by C. Leberecht depicting the Centenary of the Foundation of St Petersburg, 1803, sold for £9,920, against an estimate of £4,000-5,000 [Lot 580].
**Please note that the price includes buyers premium of 24% and VAT