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V.V. Kazakov catalog (Coins of Nicholas II)


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When I first saw this catalog advertised, I bought one -- being a collector of that period, I thought it would be nice to have. And I wasn't disappointed! There are several varieties which he documents, varieties I haven't seen mentioned in other catalogs.


The rarest variety in his catalog, however, is one that Kazakov himself perhaps was not aware of: We know that in 1912, the reverse design of the 50 kopeck silver coins was slightly changed; the tips of the eagle's tail feathers are closer to the denomination in the old version, and the orientation of the tip of the crown relative to the denticles is somewhat different. But take a good look at the image used for 1912 50 k. in his book: the reverse is obviously of the old type!


Ever since then, I have tried to find other examples. Hardly an auction which doesn't have a few of these, since it is probably the most common date. I always took a good look at the reverse images to see if this might be one of the old ones. No go so far...


Until last week, when I was looking at the catalog again and noticed that there are a couple of stains or discolorations on the reverse of the 1912 in Kazakov's book. I had a dark suspicion, so compared the reverse of 1911 with 1912...




You can imagine how silly I felt -- almost violated, actually. Now, why would anyone need or want to do this? There are excellent images of much rarer coins than this one. Was there no nice specimen of a 1912 poltina available? Hard to imagine.


Or did someone else sneak this photo into the book to discredit Kazakov? I still think it is an otherwise excellent catalog, but I wonder how many other of the images in the book are photoshop jobs? :confus:

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bobh, interesting observation. Other authors of the late were accused of similar practices. I recall something even more involved. When Bitkin was translating Zander's book on Silver Roubles and Efimoks, he actually replaced the images with his own, often questionable ones.

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Interesting story, Igor!


I remember seeing someone post a remark about Kazakov photoshopping some pictures of jetons in one of the Russian-language forums when the book had first come out. That should have tipped me off to this much earlier, but I forgot about it in the meantime. When I searched for "казаков монет фотошоп" in Google, I found other mention of some photoshopped images in 1916 and 1917 of the catalog in this forum (beware of porn pop-ups, though):




Looks like the 1/2 kopeck images of 1916 and 1917 are photoshopped from the same reverse, too.

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