1773 Gold Medal Celebrating Renovation Project for Kremlin

19 Feb 2018  Mon

Catherine II decided to rebuild buildings at the Kremlin, Moscow in 1763 after a fire had destroyed all of them. Her efforts became fruitful in 1773 and a commemorative gold medal was issued to celebrate the inauguration of the reconstruction.

Fritz Rudolph Künker’s auction is going to offer an example of this medal on 22nd March. Experts believe that the offered medal could also be a later restrike from the 19th century. It is graded “Extremely fine to FDC” and has an estimated value of €80,000.

Designed by Russian artist Timothei Iwanoff, the 125.98 grams medal has a 64.45-millimeter diameter and features Empress Catherine II on the obverse. The reverse features the structures of the Kremlin. The medal was worth 36 ducats.

Architect Vasily Bazhenov was asked to plan the construction work for a new imperial residence in Moscow in 1788. Plague epidemic in 1771 slowed down the project to a great extent. However, the inauguration ceremony for the reconstruction project was held on 1st June 1773.

The project was halted in 1775 since the Palace of St. Petersburg was being built which led to excessive construction costs. In 1812 after Napoleon seized the Kremlin and destroyed it completely.

Reconstruction began again at the end of that decade.

Images courtesy of Fritz Rudolph Kunker

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