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Many people in the Russian coin Forum are familiar with the short-lived Dassier Ruble type issued in 1757 only.

 

Dassier's portrait type is arguably the most attractive and flattering to the Empress of any of the multiple portrait types (by different engravers) issued during her reign.

 

What is not as frequently seen is the original medal commemorating the founding of Moscow State University in 1754.

 

The portrait was modified somewhat and the relief lowered for the ruble die.

 

Shown here is Dassier's 1756 medal which served as the model for the 1757 ruble portrait.

 

(Had trouble uploading. Images are shown further down in this thread)

 

 

 

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Here is another portrait medal which, like the first medal shown, is signed by Dassier. I have not been able to find any information about it.

 

The portrait is very similar to that used for the ruble, but in higher relief. It has been struck from rusty dies, which suggests that it was made many years later, probably from old dies left in storage.

 

It is possible that this medal represents a transition between the 1754 Moscow State University medal and the ruble. It is unclear what the purpose of this medal was but the empty field on the reverse suggests it was to be awarded and the recipent's name engraved on the reverse.

 

If anyone has further information about this medal, please post it here. Thanks!

 

dassier2ei7.jpg

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I googled it up on the net and this is what I found:

 

http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:-N5xVK1...au&ct=clnk&cd=1

 

The original site is dead, so I'm using google cache. Thank godness for google's cache.

 

На учреждение Московского Университета

 

 

Л. ст. Погрудное изображение императрицы Елизаветы I вправо с ниспадающими на плечи локонами, в короне и мантии. Круговая легенда: «D. G. ELISABETHA I - IMP AVTOCR OMN ROSS» (Божьей милостью Елизавета I Императрица и Самодержица Всероссийская). Под изображением: подпись медальера — «DASSIER».

Об. ст. На переднем плане аллегорическое изображение России — женщина в короне и мантии, окруженная атрибутами наук, искусств и промышленности, сидит у подножия монумента, опираясь на щит с Государственным гербом с вензелем Императрицы, украшенного гирляндами цветов; вдали вид Московского Кремля. Надпись по верху: «NOVA SIBI MONVMENTA PARAVIT» (Воздвигла себе новый памятник). Под обрезом: «ACADEM MOSQ INSTIT / MDCCLIV /» (Основанием Московского Университета 1754). СРМ, № 133. Крест короны расположен правее второй литеры «М» в слове «MONVMENTA».

Серебро. Д - 51. В - 76,70; 76,50; 76,59. ГИМ. (Табл. ХХIХ,30)

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I googled it up on the net and this is what I found:

 

http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:-N5xVK1...au&ct=clnk&cd=1

 

The original site is dead, so I'm using google cache. Thank godness for google's cache.

 

На учреждение Московского Университета

Л. ст. Погрудное изображение императрицы Елизаветы I вправо с ниспадающими на плечи локонами, в короне и мантии. Круговая легенда: «D. G. ELISABETHA I - IMP AVTOCR OMN ROSS» (Божьей милостью Елизавета I Императрица и Самодержица Всероссийская). Под изображением: подпись медальера — «DASSIER».

Об. ст. На переднем плане аллегорическое изображение России — женщина в короне и мантии, окруженная атрибутами наук, искусств и промышленности, сидит у подножия монумента, опираясь на щит с Государственным гербом с вензелем Императрицы, украшенного гирляндами цветов; вдали вид Московского Кремля. Надпись по верху: «NOVA SIBI MONVMENTA PARAVIT» (Воздвигла себе новый памятник). Под обрезом: «ACADEM MOSQ INSTIT / MDCCLIV /» (Основанием Московского Университета 1754). СРМ, № 133. Крест короны расположен правее второй литеры «М» в слове «MONVMENTA».

Серебро. Д - 51. В - 76,70; 76,50; 76,59. ГИМ. (Табл. ХХIХ,30)

 

 

This is the description of the first medal. The one I show is in bronze, not silver. Perhaps it also exists in gold?

 

Babelfish translates as:

 

# to the establishment of Moscow University #

l. st. the pogrudnoye image of empress Elizabeth I to the right with the descending on the arms curls, in the crown and the mantle. Circular legend: "D G ELISABETHA I - IMP AVTOCR OMN ROSS" (by God favor Elizabeth THE I empress Samoderzhitsa All-Russian). Under the image: the signature of medalist - "DASSIER". About. st. in the foreground the allegorical image of Russia - woman in the crown and the mantle, surrounded by the attributes of sciences, skills and industry, sits at the foot of monument, relying on panel with the state coat of arms with the monogram of empress, decorated with garlands it is color; far the form of the Moscow Kremlin. Inscription on the top: "NOVA SIBI MONVMENTA PARAVIT" (Vozdvigla to itself new monument). Under the edge: "ACADEM MOSQ INSTIT/MDCCLIV/" (By base Of Moscow University 1754). SRM, № 133. The cross of crown is located more to the right the second letter "M" in the word "MONVMENTA". Silver. D - 51. C - 76,70; 76,50; 76,59. GIM. (Table khkh.ikh, 30)

 

 

 

 

The second medal (the one struck with the rusty dies) is a mystery to me. The obverse Latin legend says something like "Elizabeth the Great".

 

"Dignissimo" seems to mean something like "For Merit", which suggests it is an award for excellence in some field of endeavor. It is signed "DASSIER" so it seems to be his work and not that of someone copying his work. Beyond that, I know nothing about the second medal.

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http://museum.guru.ru/relikvii/exposicia.phtml

 

shows this picture

 

medal.jpg

 

and says

 

Медаль, выпущенная к основанию Московского университета

 

На одной стороне медали изображена императрица Елизавета Петровна, по краю надпись по-латыни - "D.G.Elisavetha.I.Imp.Auctor.Omn.Ross." ("Божиею Милостью Елизавета I Императрица Всероссийская". На другой стороне композиция, изображающая императрицу у подножия колонны, увенчанной ее вензелем и короной, надпись по-латыни "Nova Sibi Monumenta Paravit" ("Приготовила себе новый памятник"). Внизу "Academ.Mosc.Instit" ("Основала Московскую Академию"). Обращает внимание дата внизу медали (римскими цифрами) 1754, что говорит о намерении провести инаугурацию университета на несколько месяцев раньше (летом-осенью 1754 г.), чем это произошло на самом деле.

 

 

which Babelfish translates as:

 

 

Medal, released to the base of Moscow University

 

On one side of medal is depicted empress Elizabeth Petrovna, on the edge inscription in Latin - "D.G.Elisavetha.I.Imp.Auctor.Omn.Ross." ("By bozhiyeyu Favor Elizabeth I Empress vserossiyskaya". On other side the composition, which depicts empress in the foot of the column, crowned by its monogram and crown, inscription in Latin "Nova Sibi Monumenta Paravit" ("prepared to itself new monument"). Below "Academ.Mosc.Instit" ("Established Moscow Academy"). The date of the below medal (by roman numerals) of 1754 focuses attention, which indicates the intention to conduct the inauguration of university to several months earlier (by letom-osen'yu of 1754), than this occurred in reality.

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I knew I found it too quick and it served me right for not checking the content.

 

This MIGHT be a book that you want to get Grivna,

 

Eisler, William - The Dassiers of Geneva: 18th Century European Medallists. Volume I. Jean Dassier, Medal Engraver: Geneva, Paris and London, 1700-1733. The initial volume of the first scholarly study on the Dassier family. 304 pages 8 1/4 X 11 3/4 card covers. heavily illustrated. new. If you collect Dassier medals, this is just what you need.

 

which I found on this page: http://georgemanzcoins.com/books/medals.html

 

Not too sure if anyone in this forum happens to have this book.

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Thank you, gx.

 

I am mostly interested in Dassier's Russian medallic work, which seems to have been quite limited.

 

I'll have a look around on the net for that book and subsequent volumes. The one in the link appears to be sold.

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Might want to try this link:

 

http://www.numishop.eu/ficheboutique.php?i...lib&argretour=1

 

Not too sure if there are other online stores that have it for cheaper. Seems very pricey though :ninja:

 

No kidding. 97€ is ~$125, which probably doesn't include shipping. Volume II would likely be of more interest, because it covers Jacques Antoine's (Jean's son) output in Russia, which is the part which specifically interests me.

 

I'll look around on the net. I'm in no rush to get it.

 

Thanks for the link, gx.

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There's a fairly limited pair of entries on the Dassiers in Forrer, particularly considering the volume of work they put out. But there's nothing specific on the Russian work beyond listing what it was.

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There's a fairly limited pair of entries on the Dassiers in Forrer, particularly considering the volume of work they put out. But there's nothing specific on the Russian work beyond listing what it was.

 

Thank you. :ninja: Hopefully one of the Russian specialists who post here will have some information on the second medal (the one struck with the rusty dies), or else know someone who does.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A serries of books by Mikhail Diakov on the subject of 'MEDALS of the RUSSIAN EMPIRE' are in process of being published. 4 volumes are already published. They cover period from Peter I to Nicholas I. 3 more volumes will complete the series shortly.

The medal struck from the rusty dies pictured above is a copy of a medal by an unknown engraver. The original did not have a portrait, but an inscription that read - Elizabeth the Great Patron of Sciences and Fine Arts. The reverse is similar to the original and reads "DIGNISSIMO" - To the most worthy. So it is basically an award medal. Originals were struck in silver, so you are correct to say that yours was struck from rusty dies at a later date.

One more medal was engraved by Dassier in Russia. It was struck in 1758 to honor Count Peter Shuvalov.

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A serries of books by Mikhail Diakov on the subject of 'MEDALS of the RUSSIAN EMPIRE' are in process of being published. 4 volumes are already published. They cover period from Peter I to Nicholas I. 3 more volumes will complete the series shortly.

 

Thank you for this information. I have seen some of Diakov's books on the coins, but not those of the medals.

 

 

 

The medal struck from the rusty dies pictured above is a copy of a medal by an unknown engraver. The original did not have a portrait, but an inscription that read - Elizabeth the Great Patron of Sciences and Fine Arts. The reverse is similar to the original and reads "DIGNISSIMO" - To the most worthy. So it is basically an award medal. Originals were struck in silver, so you are correct to say that yours was struck from rusty dies at a later date.

 

dassier2ei7.jpg

 

Is this medal struck with the rusty dies listed in Diakov?

 

I'm not sure I understand correctly, but I think you are saying that the engraver of this medal struck from the rusty dies is unknown.

 

From what I have seen of 18th century medals, they were commonly copied by other engravers and either signed by the person making the copy, or else left unsigned. But this one is signed "DASSIER" under the portrait. If it is not Dassier's work, then wouldn't it represent a departure from established practice for an engraver to sign using the name of another engraver?

 

If I were to paint paintings in the style of Picasso or Reubens and then sign those paintings with their names, then I would be considered an art forger. Would that then not make a medal created in the style of Dassier and signed (by someone else) with his name a forgery?

 

Or am I misunderstanding what you are saying?

 

 

 

 

One more medal was engraved by Dassier in Russia. It was struck in 1758 to honor Count Peter Shuvalov.

 

I have heard of this medal but have never seen it. I assume it is rare.

 

Thank you for your reply and welcome to this board. :ninja:

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Grivna1726, Thank you for welcoming me to the forum. I am glad to be here.

I am sorry if I was not clear in my original post. I will try to clarify:

1. Your medal is engraved by Dassier.

2. Your medal is descibed in Diakov's catalog as a copy.

3. The one described as original had a similar reverse - "Dignissimo", but the averse did not have a portrait, but a 6 line inscription.

 

I agree with you about copies of the medals and do not quite understand why it is described as a copy in the catalog, since it has a completely different averse with a portrait of Elizabeth. I will try to find out why the book mentions it as a copy.

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Grivna1726, Thank you for welcoming me to the forum. I am glad to be here.

I am sorry if I was not clear in my original post. I will try to clarify:

1. Your medal is engraved by Dassier.

2. Your medal is descibed in Diakov's catalog as a copy.

3.  The one described as original had a similar reverse - "Dignissimo", but the averse did not have a portrait, but a 6 line inscription.

 

I agree with you about copies of the medals and do not quite understand why it is described as a copy in the catalog, since it has a completely different averse with a portrait of Elizabeth. I will try to find out why the book mentions it as a copy.

 

 

Thank you, I understand now what you were trying to tell me.

 

The use of rusty dies suggests that it was struck many years later (maybe during the reign of Catherine II). Are there any medals struck with this Dassier die during the time that Dassier was in Russia, or was the die made but not used and then pulled out of storage years later to make "novodels" of the medal from that die?

 

If there are medals struck from this die during the 2 years Dassier was at the mint, are they also in bronze or or were they struck in other metals? Do they use the same reverse (Dignissimo) die?

 

The portrait used on the rusty die is so close to that used on the ruble, that I think it might well have served as the model for the coin (rather than the portrait used on the Founding of Moscow University medal as I previously believed).

 

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I have not found it easy to locate information about this medal and am delighted to finally have made contact with someone who knows something about it. :ninja: I am deeply grateful for your information and assistance.

 

BTW, your avatar is a most impressive and rare coin. I don't think I have ever seen the 1707 grivennik before. Even the 1932 Hess sale 210 did not have an example of this coin! :lol::cry:

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post-1379-1156900024.jpgpost-1379-1156900052.jpg

Here is Shuvalov's medal. In the trancation it reads "Dassier k.v.a" It is a copy and k.v.a. stands for "Copy by Vasily Alekseev". It was engraved and struck much later than the original. Looks the same though (almost).

 

Thank you.

 

This the first time I have seen this medal. The reverse is a clear reference to Shuvalov's military responsibilities during Elizabeth's reign. He was possibly the most powerful person in the Imperial court after the Empress herself.

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The 'Dignisimo' medal by Dassier was struck in silver during Dassier's time at the mint. The medal you have is struck from original Dassier dies later on (as you mentioned) and is called NOVODEL CLASS 1 (I think), which means exactly that - struck later from original dies. It was pretty popular for nobelman in Imperial Russia to have a coin/medal collection in the library at their houses. So it was a common practice for collectors to come to the mint and place an order for the medals to be struck. Mint had a 'menu' with prices depending on the metal and medal one wanted. If mint did not have the original dies, they would get engraver to make the new ones similar to the old, but with a name of a current engraver and simetime with a mention of the original engraver (like the Shuvalov medal that I posted).

Grivna1726, you probably know all of the above. Hopefully someone out there will find this information usefull, or may be someone out there will correct me if I am wrong. I have been wrong before :ninja: .

 

I was very lucky to get 1707 grivennik. You are correct in saying that it was not offered in Hermitage Duplicates sale by Hess, as a matter of fact it was not offered in any auction in 20th century.

 

Help! How do I quote previous posts in my replies?

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The 'Dignisimo' medal by Dassier was struck in silver during Dassier's time at the mint. The medal you have is struck from original Dassier dies later on (as you mentioned) and is called NOVODEL CLASS 1 (I think), which means exactly that - struck later from original dies. It was pretty popular for nobelman in Imperial Russia to have a coin/medal collection in the library at their houses. So it was a common practice for collectors to come to the mint and place an order for the medals to be struck. Mint had a 'menu' with prices depending on the metal and medal one wanted. If mint did not have the original dies, they would get engraver to make the new ones similar to the old, but with a name of a current engraver and simetime with a mention of the original engraver (like the Shuvalov medal that I posted).

 

Thank you.

 

Have you ever seen any of the original silver strikes of the Dassier dignissimo medal or know of any offerings? I have a fairly good library, but it is by no means complete. I have never seen a silver example of the Dassier portrait dignissimo medal, nor am I aware of any being offered, but that doesn't mean that there haven't been multiple offerings of which I am unaware.

 

Grivna1726, you probably know all of the above. Hopefully someone out there will find this information usefull, or may be someone out there will correct me if I am wrong. I have been wrong before  :lol: .

 

What you say about practices at the mint is consistent with what I have previously understood. What you say about the Dassier medal in particular is new to me, but makes sense and fits with what I do know about Dassier and his stay in Russia. My interest in Dassier's medallic work flows directly from my interest in the silver ruble series, especially the attractive portrait used on Dassier's ruble and the place his medallic art occupies in the development of that coin (rather than as a collector of the Dassier family's various medallic series who just happens to have an associated interest in the coins).

 

 

I was very lucky to get 1707 grivennik. You are correct in saying that it was not offered in Hermitage Duplicates sale by Hess, as a matter of fact it was not offered in any auction in 20th century.

 

It is a great rarity. You must have a highly advanced collection to own such a coin. It is one of those underrated minor coins that collectors never really appreciate until they start trying to find one. The coin is just never offered (in any condition).

 

 

Help! How do I quote previous posts in my replies?

 

 

Just click on the "quote" button when you want to reply. The full text of the message to which you are replying will appear in your message window. :ninja:

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Thank you.

 

Have you ever seen any of the original silver strikes of the Dassier dignissimo medal or know of any offerings?  I have a fairly good library, but it is by no means complete.  I have never seen a silver example of the Dassier portrait dignissimo medal, nor am I aware of any being offered, but that doesn't mean that there haven't been multiple offerings of which I am unaware.

What you say about practices at the mint is consistent with what I have previously understood.  What you say about the Dassier medal in particular is new to me, but makes sense and fits with what I do know about Dassier and his stay in Russia.  My interest in Dassier's medallic work flows directly from my interest in the silver ruble series, especially the attractive portrait used on Dassier's ruble and the place his medallic art  occupies in the development of that coin (rather than as a collector of the Dassier family's various medallic series who just happens to have an associated  interest in the coins).

It is a great rarity.  You must have a highly advanced collection to own such a coin.  It is one of those underrated minor coins that collectors never really appreciate until they start trying to find one.  The coin is just never offered (in any condition).

Just click on the "quote" button when you want to reply.  The full text of the message to which you are replying will appear in your message window. :lol:

 

Thank you. There are so many buttons on the screen.

 

I agree with you, Dassier's work is a great contribution to Russian numismatics. Interestingly enough Elizabeth did not like the portrat as she thought her hair looked too simple (no fancy curls). I have never seen "Dignissimo" medal for sale, except WWCC sale 9. I assume your medal is from there. :cry: , but I do have a University medal in silver. I will try to post it here.

 

I saw your 1726 grivna. It is a beauty. I can see that you are very advanced :ninja: . I recently saw a similar piece sell in Europe for huge money.

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