World Coins

Rare Russian gold medal in Sincona’s Oct. 22 sale

A rare gold medal from Russia celebrating the construction of the Troitsky (Trinity) Bridge in St. Petersburg will be offered at auction Oct. 22 in Zurich.

Medal images courtesy of Sincona, Ag.

A rare gold medal from Russia is among many highlights of Sincona Ag’s Auction No. 48 of Russian coins and medals Oct. 22 in Zurich, Switzerland.

Among highlights of the auction are famous coins like the 1836 Family ruble and coins celebrating the Battle of Borodino and the Battle of Poltava, but a medal, one from the 20th century, caught our eye.

The 1903 medal was issued during the reign of Nicholas II, and was issued to celebrate the construction of the Troitsky (Trinity) Bridge in St. Petersburg. 

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The bridge was built during 1897 to 1903 in memory of the silver wedding of Czar Alexander III to Maria Feodorovna (known before her marriage as Princess Dagmar of Denmark), which took place in 1891. Felix Faure, the president of France, was present at the ceremony of the laying of the foundation stone in 1897. 

In the same year Nicholas II laid the foundation stone for the bridge “Pont Alexandre III” in Paris. It is another memorial to the Franco-Russian alliance. 

Only five or six of these medals were minted in gold, to be awarded to high-ranking participants.

Today three examples are known: the piece given to Nicholas II (which is in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg); the example presented to architect Paul Bodin (auctioned at MDC, Monaco, Auction 1, Dec. 2016, No. 963, which hammered for €153,000); and this example, presented to president of France, Felix Faure. 

The medal has a provenance traced to the French president’s grandson, the physician Andre-Felix Berge.

The conjoined busts of Nicholas II, Czar Alexander III and Maria Feodorovna, appear on the obverse.

An inscription on the reverse appears above a representation of the bridge, which stretches across the Neva River.

The medal measures 64 millimeters in diameter and weighs 176.53 grams, more than 5 ounces. 

In Extremely Fine condition, according to the auction house, the medal has an opening bid of 100,000 Swiss francs ($104,307 U.S.).

For full details of the firm’s group of auctions in late October, visit its website.

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