Rare One Year Type Ruble of Elizabeth

The January New York International Auction is now just six weeks away, and
the catalogs will be mailing very soon. Today’s preview features a very rare
one-year type of the Russian Empress Elizabeth, who believed she deserved the
Imperial throne over her distant relation, the infant Emperor Ivan VI.

Born in August 1740 to Duchess Anna Leopoldovna (niece
of Empress Anna of Russia), the arrival of Ivan VI seemed a stroke of luck to
then Empress Anna. In 1740 she 47 years old, in failing health and without a
clear successor to the throne. Empress Anna wished to secure the line of her
father, Tsar Ivan V (co-regent with Emperor Peter I) while simultaneously
excluding any descendants of Emperor Peter I from ruling. To achieve this,
Empress Anna adopted the newborn Ivan VI Antonovich and named him successor to
the Empire of Russia. Empress Anna died in October 1740, leaving the eight-week-old
Ivan VI as Emperor with a German noble (Ernst Johann von Biron) as regent.
Biron acted as regent for only three weeks, before he was replaced by Ivan VI’s

Just over a year later, Elizabeth Petrovna, daughter of
Emperor Peter I and Catherine I, rallied the Russian guard regiments and
overthrew the government and ascended as Empress Elizabeth in December 1741.
Born on December 18, 1709, her parents had married in secret in December of
1707. However, their marriage was not made public until February of 1712. Due
to the secrecy of her parents’ marriage during the time of her birth,
Elizabeth’s opponents questioned her legitimacy and right to the throne.
Elizabeth was passed over in favor of Empress Anna and, subsequently, Emperor
Ivan VI. Realizing that the infant emperor and his regent were losing favor
with the armed forces, Elizabeth seized power in a daring coup with help from
regiments of the Russian army. Wearing a dress and armored breast plate,
Elizabeth stormed the Winter Palace with her forces and arrested the infant
Emperor Ivan VI Antonovich. The story of the remainder of Ivan VI’s life is
tragic, while Elizabeth would rule Russia for over two decades.

This coin of Empress Elizabeth is a rare one-year type,
produced at the onset of her reign. The coin features a right facing bust of
the empress, with a narrow bust and a brooch at shoulder, along with the
obverse legend ending in “:”. These features set this piece apart from later issues
produced later. The reverse design boasts
at the center the Imperial Coat of Arms: the Imperial double headed eagle,
each head crowned with a third crown above. The left claw holds a scepter,
representing monarchial power, and the globus cruciger in the right claw
demonstrates the religious authority of the emperor. The Order of Saint Andrew,
the highest honorary order in Imperial Russia, appears around the arms of
Moscow showing Saint George mounted and defeating the dragon. The date appears
above, with the Cyrillic legend for the denomination below. This piece displays
lovely rosy toning that highlights the regal bust.

While we are no longer taking consignments for our January 2018 New York
International Auction, we are taking consignments of world and ancient coins and
world paper money for the upcoming May 2018 Collector’s Choice Online. We are
also accepting consignments of Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for
our April 2018 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. Time is running short, so if you are
interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole
collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment

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