The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 49, December 1, 2013, Article 16


Caroline Newton of Baldwin's forwarded this press release about the firm's sale of Russian coins and medals from the Linden collection in January. -Editor

Coins from one the world’s most prolific collections will be sold in New York on Thursday 9th January at Baldwin’s auction, in association with Dmitry Markov Coins & Medals and M & M Numismatics.

The collection was formed by Swede, Åke Linden. Born in Stockholm, but brought up in Karlskoga, he was a man of international stature, serving for a number of years as Assistant General Director of GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), now the World Trade Organisation. He was inspired to start collecting coins as he travelled from country to country as part of his job and became intrigued by the volume and variety of different local currencies he encountered. His aim was to own an example of every type coin from every country in the world since 1850, and he set about the task with passion and a methodical and a single minded approach.

1876 25 Roubles obverse 1876 25 Roubles reverse

The auction includes several exceptional Russian coins from the collection, including potentially the most expensive in the sale. Struck to commemorate the 30th birthday of the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, the 1876 proof-like gold 25 Roubles is one of only four large gold coin types issued by Imperial Russia. Of the four, the 25 Roubles coin is the rarest and most elusive, as only 100 pieces were struck. Depicting a crowned double headed eagle the present example is uncirculated and in exceptional condition. It is expected to sell for US$200,000 [Lot 1235]

An 1897 Imperial 10 Roubles and an 1895 Half Imperial 5 Roubles, both proof-like, uncirculated, and extremely rare, are two further examples of the impeccable taste of this discerning collector. The 5 Roubles is one of only 36 struck and each coin is estimated at US$100,000. [Lots 1313 and 1314]

Both the coins were produced as part of a set of major currency reforms, designed by famous Russian Finance Minister Sergei Witte, to firstly stabilise the Russian Rouble , and then to place it on the Gold Standard. Witte issued a series of special gold coins which had dual denominations and could be traded in European countries as part of the European Monetary Union. The reforms were hugely successful at providing stability and stimulating economic development.

Two further coins, a 1902, Gold 37 ½ Roubles – 100 Francs, the highest denomination of a Russian coin ever struck, and a 1896 Nicholas II Coronation Commemorative 2 ½ Imperials – 25 Roubles, were also produced during this period of reform and each is estimated at US$75,000. [Lots 1311 and 1312]

All four coins are part of the Åke Linden collection.

Elsewhere, a gold Paul I 1798 5 Roubles , formerly in the collection of the famous numismatist, the Grand Duke George Mikhailovich, is one of a number of coins in the collection from his assemblage. In choice uncirculated condition it is estimated at US$35,000. [Lot 1154]

Comprising every coin ever produced from the Russian Empire, the Michilovitch collection was subsequently seized by the communists. The gold and silver coins and medals were to be sold in Luzern in September 1939 but the sale was cancelled due to the outbreak of war. In 1951 the coins were catalogued by Baldwin’s for a Christie’s sale in London, while around that time a U.S. dealer negotiated a private treaty purchase of the copper coinage and sold that part of the collection to the Smithsonian Institution, where they remain. Coins from the Michalovitch collection are always eagerly sought by contemporary collectors.

1925 Order of the Red Banner The second part of the New York January auction comprises a fine selection of Russian Orders, Decorations and Medals and includes a 1925 Prototype Order of the Red Banner of Labor of Ukraine, Type 2. Established by the Fifth All-Ukranian Congress of Soviets in1921 as an award to honour great deeds and service to the state and to society, the order was never commissioned making this prototype not only unique, but of major historical importance. It is estimated at US$250,000 [Lot 2079]

An Award Badge of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic is one of only seven of its type ever awarded and is one of the rarest lots in the sale with only two, including this example, known to be in private hands. It is estimated at US$75,000. [Lot 2080]

The auction will be held in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, as part of the 42nd New York International Coin Convention and will commence at 7.00pm local time. Viewing is available at A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd., 11 Adelphi Terrace, London, until Wednesday 4th December and at the Waldorf Astoria from 6th-8th January.

I wasn't aware of the Linden collection. Impressive collecting goal! I was of course. Familiar with the famous Mikhailovich collection. -Editor


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Wayne Homren, Editor

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