It seems far too long since a really covetable set of Russian medals crossed our paths here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, but luckily Spink is on hand to help with a beautiful and valuable pair in their upcoming Orders, Decorations, Campaign Medals and Militaria auction this month.
The first of these is a sash badge and star of the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky from Imperial Russia, Civil Division with a set of Insignia, by Eduard of St. Petersburg.
The badge is 53mm across in gold and enamel, with the manufacturer's name and mark on reverse, and the date of 1908-17. The star is silver, silver-gilt and enamel with the manufacturer's name and mark and 1908-17 kokoshnik mark on the reverse.
It is in nearly extremely fine condition, with a short length of sash riband for display purposes.
Then there is a sash badge and star for the Imperial Order of the White Eagle, Civil Division. The badge, featuring the dramatic and striking black eagles is 90mm in length including the crown suspension and cast in gold and enamel.
The star is 90mm in silver-gilt and enamel. There is some blue enamel damage to the crown tassels on the badge but it is otherwise in extremely fine condition.
What makes the sale particularly exciting, however, is that these beautiful awards were bestowed upon Lord Sir Francis Grenfell on the occasion of the Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II, 26.5.1896.
As Olivier Pepys, medals specialist at Spink told us: "Provenance has proven to be crucial to the value of Russian medals in the strong recent market, and in this case it is exceptional.
"Lord Grenfell's medals never left his family and this auction is a wonderful opportunity to acquire the collection."
The medals are listed at £15,000-20,000 and £40,000-60,000 ($96,200) respectively, and the sale is likely to be an exciting one given the intense interest in Russian medals in recent years - one of the strongest areas in a country with an increasingly number of high net worth collectors.
Spink's auction takes place on November 25 in London.