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Origin of Russian 1762 armature series of Peter III


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These 2 coins in GM corpus of Russian coins are named as one sided novodels with plain edge. Uzdenikov suggested that they are made with original trial dies of 1760. This is probably true, and there is a little proof for this assumption.

This is 8 Gute Groschen 1754, that I was hunting for the last 2 years, since I realized that for one or the other reason this coins was the one that partly influenced the design of 1762 Russian series of Peter III (prepared by Elizabeth in 1760). Finally, I managed to secure it and looked into this story a little further.





Russian catalogues usually describe the two "lines" on the left that stick out from behind the war drum as "drumsticks".

As we can see, on the Brandenburg's coin, that played as the role of a prototype model, they are no sticks. The lower one is a sword. I am not sure about the top one, may be you can help me here with your suggestion what it could be. Now, on Russian series originally were suppose to be the same military objects, as it would be logically assumed. And if we would closely examine the novodel 4 kopecks that were made, according to Uzdenikov with original 1760 dies, we could see that its image closer to 8 Gute Croschen 1754 than any other 1762 coin may have, with good traces of a sword remaining there.


The remains of sword on Russian coins of this type I could see only on this coin, that is assumed made with trial dies. I couldn't see it on any other Russian coins of this type with military armature. I would assume, now, that 4 kopecks truly were of an early original design, when the master who created the die had 8 Gute Groschen 1754 in front of him, and knew exactly where this image was copied from. I'd say, this is a proof that 4 kopecks comes from the original trial dies.

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This question remains somewhat unanswered for me yet. I am reviewing 7 y. war at the moment to see what else may have happen.

A couple of things are to keep in mind here, I think:

1) In 1760 Russia and Austria occupied Berlin as allies (I think there may have been even German troops involved, but I need to do more reading on that), but decided to withdraw as they hadn't had the backing secured and supplies were scarce. They made a base in another town nearby with safe supply routes, and were preparing for another attack on Berlin in 1760-1761. At that time Elizabeveta Petrovna, who were determined to have a victory, even if she had to sell some of her dresses, as she put it, passed away, and Peter III, who was Friedrich"s II admirer, signed Petersburg's peace agreement with Prussia. Russian troops were ordered to assist Friedrich II against yesterday's allies and withdraw back to Russia, even from territories of East Prussia in which citizens have sworn their loyalty to Russian crown. Including Kunigsberg, where Russia was making local currencies of Russian design in silver and smallest one in copper. Examples:




This made Peter III very unpopular with Russian military and in the country.

Read more on historical aspects to do with Elizabeth ROLE here: http://numistika.com/books/1900 Bain - The daughter of peter the great - Russian diplomacy and court.pdf here is an extract from It. I am yet to find the time to read it all. 


2) Meanwhile, in Russia, Shuvalov is pushing for two projects to do with copper coinage. A ) converting old cannons into coins in Sestroretsk, which is approved in 1757. B ) Doubling copper coins nominal (denomination) by overstriking new type Elisaveta Petrovna 's coins and producing brand new coins. This project was rejected in 1760 and in 1761 he tried again and in 1762 Peter III pushes this project through. 

Now, the 1760 dies that we have one sided novodels made from, particularly, 4 kopecks, importance of which I demonstrated in the first post are here, and I now have no doubts that they are genuine. Where did they come from?

My understanding is that dies were not usually ordered to be made until there was OK for the project and trial strike was ordered. Though, given the political powers of Shuvalov, rules may not exactly apply here. So, I cannot dismiss that possibility. 

There are two theories:

- officially accepted by GM, Uzdenikov and many others, but that has no documental proof, is that dies were pre-made for Shuvalov 's project. Who, I'd assume, has chosen this design for the series as victory series, expecting to celebrate military victory over Prussia. It would also make it easier for the new areas introduced into the Russian Empire to accept this copper coinage. 

- Possibly, it was another project where they would try to introduce victory copper coinage of these denominations just to the new Russian territories, as was later done in Siberia. The coinage that was made in Kunigsberg had local elements mixed with Russian imperial elements. Here we have a similar idea.

Frankly, the last theory is probably less likely. In any case, I would assume that armature series dies were trialled in 1760 as Victory series coinage.

In 1762, though Russia didn't loose in the war, but has withdrawn from it, after paying high price in people and money spent on this war, for political reasons in the head of the new Emperor, it was taken by Russian military as sign of weakness and even treason. Even though, I do like the armature series design and take it as originally designs, I must say that releasing "victory" series in these conditions in Russia was a bit of a joke and could be taken by people as insult and a sign that new Russian Emperor has lost his marbles and now was introducing coinage in Russia with Prussian design. No wonder he was quickly replaced. 

In any case, the 1760 trial dies, I believe, were designed with victory in mind. 


But releasing it in 1762 was one piece of the chain of unfortunate events in Russia... 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Your link doesn’t work. But in general, I would say that if you are asking this question the answer is always “NO”. We really have no one here who gives buy/sell advice. 

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