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1984 Alex Shagin medal/pattern

1984worldcoins1984worldcoins Posts: 594 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited May 22, 2022 5:23AM in World & Ancient Coins Forum

I am searching info about this copper medal or coin pattern made by Alex Shagin ( I got it on ebay, it is on the way). Seems to be a coin pattern made for Hutt River.Please tell me if you got anything more, mintage, anything, thank you.

Coinsof1984@martinb6830 on twitter


  • 7Jaguars7Jaguars Posts: 7,172 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like the Orwell subject but can't offer help on this one - do recall the Shagin name but no context.....

    Love that Milled British (1830-1960)
    Well, just Love coins, period.
  • JesseKraftJesseKraft Posts: 414 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 22, 2022 6:27PM

    The following article is from the New York Times of May 13, 1984, but is regarding the medal at bottom of this post, rather than yours. Might lead you on your research, however:

    The impact of the all-seeing, all-knowing Big Brother in George Orwell's novel ''1984'' is heightened by the knowledge that this particular fiction is very nearly fact in the Soviet Union. With this in mind, hobbyists should derive particular satisfaction from an offbeat and compelling new medal that honors Mr. Orwell and commemorates his novel, since the man who designed it was himself a victim of Soviet oppression.

    The medal's designer, 37-year-old sculptor Alex Shagin, was at one time the leading staff artist at the Leningrad Mint - and while there he crafted some significant coins and medals. Among other things, he prepared designs for six of the Russian Olympic coins issued to commemorate the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow and also designed the official Apollo-Soyuz medals given to American astronauts during their visit to the Soviet Union.

    But, like the hero in ''1984,'' Mr. Shagin bridled at his government's tyrannical rule. Big Brother, he found, was watching him almost constantly - first, because he was an artist, and second because he was a Jew.

    The notion of leaving Russia had been in the medalist's mind for a number of years - particularly since 1974 when relatives in Russia began receiving formal invitations from Israel to come and resettle there. He himself received an invitation in 1975 - and while he didn't act on it at first it never was very far from his thoughts.

    Despite his prestige and the prominence of his post, he chafed at the constant surveillance to which he was being subjected and yearned for a time and place when his creative gifts could be truly unshackled. However, he was aware that if he sought his freedom and the government turned him down he could end up with neither his freedom nor his work.

    Then in September 1977 the Soviet government organized a display of works by young Leningrad artists and arranged for some of the artists - including Mr. Shagin - to accompany the exhibit on a tour of Poland. While there he was impressed by the freedom being enjoyed by Polish artists and that visit, he says, ''was the turning point'' in making up his mind to leave Russia.

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    ''Russia,'' he says, ''is a dead society. The Russians have almost no heroes. But Poland still has spiritual values; that's the difference between Russia and Poland. Poland is like a mirror to the Eastern European people, showing them how to cope with an impossible situation and keep their spirits alive.''

    Shortly after returning to Leningrad he formally applied for an exit visa - and, as he expected, the government summarily dismissed him from the mint. He then waited 14 months, with no source of income, before at last receiving permission to leave. After a series of intermediate stops, he settled in Los Angeles, where he now maintains a studio in his single-bedroom apartment. Since coming to the United States, Mr. Shagin has designed a number of new medals honoring individuals who have fought against the Soviet system. His subjects have included such internationally known symbols of resistance as Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa and Russian dissidents Andrei Sakharov, Anatoly Shcharansky and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. He also has designed a medal paying tribute to Martin Luther King.

    Clearly, social comment plays a central role in his work. ''My role, my destiny,'' he says, ''is to be a witness - to bring to the next century some facts about modern times and about my life and the life of my people.

    ''I am not a speaker; I'm a craftsman. And the only way for me to express my troubled feelings - to ring a bell if you will - is through my work. So I'm working day and night to produce as much as I can.''

    George Orwell, too, was a social bell-ringer. And, like Mr. Shagin, he couldn't abide ''big government.''

    Mr. Orwell was born in 1903 in Bengal, India. His father was a minor British official, and he himself later served in Burma for a time as an assistant district superintendent in the Indian Imperial Police. However, he soon grew disenchanted with imperialism and came to regard himself first as an anarchist and later as a socialist.

    During the Spanish Civil War, Mr. Orwell went to the battle front as a correspondent and stayed to help fight the Communists as an officer in the Republican militia. That experience left him with a deep and abiding revulsion for communism - and this is reflected in ''1984'' as well as in ''Animal Farm,'' an earlier work which satirized the Russian Revolution.

    Written in 1948, ''1984'' has come to be synonymous with man's fight for freedom in the face of ever-expanding, and ever more dehumanizing, government bureaucracy. Mr. Orwell died of tuberculosis in 1950, shortly after the book's publication.

    The Orwell medal designed by Mr. Shagin is unusual not only in its subject matter but also in its physical characteristics. Made of bronze, it is four inches in diameter and weighs more than two pounds - a far cry from the one-ounce or two-ounce medals more commonly seen.

    Its obverse features a right-facing portrait of Mr. Orwell. Its reverse bears a surrealistic design depicting the seated figure of a man who is torn between reading a forbidden book and complying with the commands of the omnipresent Big Brother.

    Mr. Shagin is preparing just 84 examples of the medal. Each will be hand-patinated and personally signed and numbered by the artist. The postpaid price is $84. Send orders and inquiries to Alex Shagin, c/o Numismarketing Associates, 5189 Jeffdale Avenue, Woodland Hills, Calif. 91364. Because of the extra time required by the hand-finishing, delivery may take up to about two months.

    Coin of the Year

    United States Treasurer Katherine D. Ortega is scheduled to accept the ''Coin of the Year Award'' Wednesday, May 16, from representatives of Krause Publications. The award, first in a projected annual series, is being bestowed upon the U.S. Mint's George Washington commemorative half dollar. The selection was made by an international panel of 43 numismatic experts who judged dozens of entries from countries around the world on the basis of their artistic quality, historical significance and popularity.

    The presentation ceremony will take place at the main Treasury building in Washington, D.C. Mint Director Donna K. Pope and Elizabeth Jones, the Mint's chief sculptor-engraver, are expected to join Mrs. Ortega. It was Miss Jones who designed the Washington coin. Krause Publications, based in Iola, Wis., is a major publisher of numismatic periodicals.

    Medal Auction

    World Art Medals of Philadelphia will conduct a public auction sale of United States and foreign medals and related items next Sunday, May 20, in conjunction with the Delaware Valley Token and Medal Convention in Mount Laurel, N.J. The sale will take place at 1 P.M. at the Budget Motor Lodge on Route 73.

    There will be more than 330 lots, including a superb collection of medals issued by the American Numismatic Society and 22 satirical German medals from the World War I period designed by famed artist Karl Goetz. For a copy of the catalogue and a post-sale list of prices realized, contact World Art Medals, P.O. Box 6601, Philadelphia, Pa. 19149.

    Coin Book

    A fascinating new book on ''the secret world of bank note printers'' has been written by Murray Teigh Bloom, a well-known free-lance author who frequently devotes himself to numismatic subjects. The book, entitled ''The Brotherhood of Money,'' offers intriguing behind-the-scenes portraits of some of the men and women who have literally made money for mankind - and in the process made an occasional fortune for themselves. The hardbound, 366-page volume is priced at $17.95 and is available at book stores or directly from the publisher, BNR Press, 132 East Second Street, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452.

    Jesse C. Kraft, Ph.D.
    Resolute Americana Curator of American Numismatics
    American Numismatic Society
    New York City

    Member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), British Numismatic Society (BNS), New York Numismatic Club (NYNC), Early American Copper (EAC), the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4), U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association (USMNA), Liberty Seated Collectors Club (LSCC), Token and Medal Society (TAMS), and life member of the Atlantic County Numismatic Society (ACNS).
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  • 1984worldcoins1984worldcoins Posts: 594 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Jesse, thank you very much!

    Coinsof1984@martinb6830 on twitter

  • 1984worldcoins1984worldcoins Posts: 594 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you Mr. Paul Bosco from New York for this nice and rare medal:

    Coinsof1984@martinb6830 on twitter

  • cachemancacheman Posts: 3,110 ✭✭✭

    Here's a quick Ebay write-up by my friend, now deceased, Steve Pellegrini. I was given his hard drive upon his passing. I'll dig around some more as I seem to recall he was in direct contact with Shagin at some point.

    We are offering a collection of the early medals of Alex Shagin. These are medals he created while employed at the State Mint at Leningrad in USSR. For many years they were unavailable in the West. After leaving the Soviet Union in 1980 Mr Shagin settled in the United States. Today he lives and works in southern California. He has a well-deserved international reputation as one of the finest medallists of the early 21st century. We are also listing 2 quite rare medals which show Shagin’s style as it has evolved since he has settled in America. – Today Alex Shagin is America’s premier medallist. So powerful is his modeling & so distinctive is his style that his work is instantly recognizable. This can only be said of a very few of history’s most creative and innovative medallists. BIOGRAPHIC NOTES: Mr Shagin completed his education and artistic training in his native Russia, then part of the USSR. Soon after his graduation from Art School and his stint in the military a high official at the Leningrad Mint (now St. Petersburg Mint) happened to see Mr. Shagin’s graduation project: a commemorative portrait medal of Czar Peter the Great. The official was so impressed with this medal that the young artist was immediately offered a post Dept. of medals at the State Mint in Leningrad. For the next five years Mr Shagin worked on creating commemorative medals celebrating Russian history especially the history of Russian revolution and its Soviet aftermath. His exceptionally fine medals and his productivity in creating a finished medal every two months soon led him to the position of chief medallist at the Mint. Although his obvious talents insulated him from much of the artistic politics rampant in the Soviet system, he was beginning to chafe at the strict limitations placed upon his work. He was required to work only on pre-approved designs of pre-appr4oved subjects and in the approved style of Soviet medals. -- At one point in the late 1970’s Shagin was invited to bring his medals to Poland for a State-sponsored exhibition of medallic art. He was amazed at what he saw there. His Polish contemporaries obviously had far more freedom of artistic expression than was allowed in Soviet Russia. Other eastern bloc medallists were working in a freewheeling atmosphere of artistic experimentation. When he returned from this trip, he applied for an exit visa to emigrate to the west. This spelled the immediate end of his career at the Leningrad Mint. After more than a year of official delays and unemployment Shagin was finally allowed to leave the Soviet Union in 1980. His decision to emigrate coincided with the great wave of Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union prompted by growing anti-Semitism in the ‘worker’s paradise’. In a show of petty pique Shagin was not allowed to take any of his works or tools with him. – For many years Shagin’s early medals created at the Leningrad Mint were rarely, if ever, seen in the west. It is only been since fall of communism and the opening of Russia that his medals have begun to appear now and then on the secondary market. Alex Shagin now lives and works in southern California. -- BIBLIO: the attribution numbers & info used in my listings of Alex Shagin’s medals are from the informative article in the ANA’s Numismatist of Oct, 1999 by Yuri Barshay and Thomas F. Fitzgerald. Their article is simply titled, ‘Shagin’s Medals from Leningrad.’ If you are interested in the life and work of this celebrated American medallist the ‘Numismatist’ article is your best starting point. SP

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