Paul I of Russia was the son of Catherine the Great and Peter III, although his mother claimed that he was in fact fathered by one of her lovers. The life of Paul I was highly influenced by his relationship with his mother. In fact, he could not reign until Catherine the Great died in November 1796. Once he became Emperor of Russia his eccentricities and his policies were not of the taste of the nobility. As a consequence, a conspiracy was organized against him and he was killed in March 1801.
Taking into account that Catherine the Great died in November 1796, it is not a surprise that the 1796 rouble of Paul I is very rare. Additionally, its design is unique because the following year the coat of arms shown on the obverse was changed for a monogram in cruciform with four crowns.
The Russian Empire coins are the most demanded coins by the Russian coin collectors. Even if Paul I is not as relevant Emperor as his mother Catherine the Great or his son Alexander I, there is no doubt that this rouble would attract the attention of any Russian coin collector. However, estimating the price of such a rare coin is always a difficult task. We can take as reference two hammer prices: 6.600 euros for this specimen and 17.000 for this other one. The quality of the coin in the auction is clearly better than the first one and not as good as the second one. Hence, hammer prices between 9.000 euros and 12.000 euros would be reasonable.
Description from the seller
Paul I., 1796-1801. Rubel 1796 St. Petersburg Vs.: bekrönter Doppeladler, auf der Brust St. Georgsschild, umher Ordenskette, Rs.: verzierte Schrifttafel, o. Mmz. Bitkin 14 (R1); Dav. 1687. 28.95 g. R in dieser Erhaltung feine Tönung, winz. Kratzer, sonst vz