Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


IVANOV, Timothei: Russia, 1754, Bronze, 65 mm
Obv: Crowned bust of Elizabeth (r) D. G. ELISABETA. AVGVSTA. OMN. ROSS. (By the Grace of God, Elizabeth Empress of All Russia)
Rev: The Goodness of Mercy (personifying Elizabeth) burning debt books and receipts, her left hand receiving fruits from a kneeling peasant. BONITAS. AVGVESTAE (With Mercy of Empress...)
Exergue: TRIBVTORVM. RESIDVA . XXIII ANNORVM. CONDONATA. D. XIII. MAY. MDCCLIV (...Debts That Lasted 23 Years Forgiven. 13 May 1754.)
Signed: Timothei Ivanov (in Cyrillic)
Ref: Tiregale 85; Forrer III, p. 37; Smirnov 235; Reichel #2029; Diakov part 2, 64/95.2; Weiss BW160

Elizabeth (Petrovna) (1709-1762), Empress of Russia from 1742 to 1762, was the daughter of Peter the Great and Maratha Skavronskaya (Catherine I, Empress of Russia). From 1730 to 1740, Elizabeth’s cousin Anne was Empress of Russia. However in December of 1741, Elizabeth assembled her personal friends and members of her household, drove to the barracks of the Preobrazhensky Guards, enlisted their sympathies by a stirring speech, and led them to the Winter Palace. She seized the regent and her children in their beds, and summoned all the notables, civil and ecclesiastical, to her presence. Elizabeth had secured the ministers on her way to the Winter Palace, and the revolution was accomplished. Later, Elizabeth waged war against Sweden, resulting in the annexation of part of southern Finland in 1743, and led Russia into the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763). Elizabeth was a great patron of education and the arts, founding Russia’s first university, in Moscow in 1755.

In 1754 Elizabeth issued a proclamation forgiving long-standing debts owed to the crown by the peasants, the event commemorated by this medal.

This medal is a copy by Ivanov of an original made by G.C. Waechter.

LINK to Collection of Medals from Imperial Russia (Yale University)