100th Anniversary of the Imperial Liberal Economic Society,
bronze award medal, 1865.
45.9 mm wide; weighs 53.9 grams. Engraved by M.
Kuchkin. Obverse bears the profiles of Catherine the Great
and Alexander II with an angel overhead and farm implements
and wheat sheaves below. The reverse shows a very active
beehive and bears the inscription: "Centenary of Imperial
Liberal Economic Society. For Usefulness."
Very fine condition. Deep chocolate color (as in our third
photograph). The medal is 5mm thick and has a nice heft to
it. Some surface wear but nothing that negatively affects
the medal's overall appearance. Edge knock at three o'clock
on the obverse rim.
The Imperial Liberal Economic Society was established by
wealthy Russian landowners in 1765 under Count Grigory
in an attempt to begin a serious study and discussion of
agricultural techniques being practiced elsewhere in the
world. The Society was generally known to be the brainchild
of Catherine the Great.
By the 1890s, the society had begun (at least in the eyes
the Russian police) to live up to the "Liberal" part of its
name. While it never completely lost its interest in
agricultural affairs, it had become such a noted forum for
the open discussion of potential reform measures that the
government of Nicholas II temporarily dissolved it in 1900.
When it reformed shortly thereafter, it stopped holding
public meetings and its sessions were limited strictly to
/Mikhail Dyakov, "Medals of the Russian Empire, Part 5,
1855-1881", page 140, fig. 735.1/