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A 50 ducat medal commemorating the end of the Russo-Persian war.

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It was coined under Emperor Nicholas I in 1828 after the peace treaty of Turkmenchay was signed.

Two years previously, the Persian army had invaded Russia. The Shah of Persia had been egged on by British politicians and diplomats who were intent on curbing Russian expansionism.

The campaign was an unmitigated disaster and as a consequence Persia ceded all its territories in the Caucasus to Russia.

The immensely rare gold medal, weighing just over 6oz (172gm) was designed by V Alexeev and depicted Noah’s Ark, resting on the summit of Mount Ararat with the receding floodwaters in the foreground, and on the reverse a Persian city at the foot of the mountain.

It had once belonged to the eminent collector Emeryk Hutten-Czapski (1828-96) and was sold in 1939 in Lucerne as part of the Georg Michailowitsch collection. The catalogue guide was €50,000, but it more than doubled that, finding a new owner for €110,000 (£95,650).