St Petersburg: Printing-Office of the Imperial Academy of Science, 1899. Large 4to [31 by 23.5 cm], contemporary blue cloth and boards; original printed paper covers affixed to sides; hand-lettered spine label. 15, (3) pages. Binding worn at extremities; handwritten notations on both paper covers; contents apparently folded before being bound; opening leaves with ragged margins. Very good or so. Item #6660
An important state document, being the final report on the currency reform developed by Finance Minister Sergei Witte (Vitte) and approved by Czar Nikolai II. This reform was the culmination of previous efforts beginning in 1895 and brought about the conversion of the Russian ruble to the gold standard. The publication at hand includes the Council of State’s introduction and all three chapters, covering the monetary system, the circulation of coinage, and the St. Petersburg Mint. Under this reform, the silver ruble was relegated to being the physical means of paying in the new monetary unit: the gold ruble. Until 1914, this reform brought a stability to the Russian economy that had been lacking for some time. International capital was drawn to Russia and, until the disaster of the war, Russia seemed to be on the road to joining the front ranks of the world’s economic powers. This publication, printed in English presumably for use in British Governmental circles, notes that: “The original text of the Coinage Law following bears the inscription, in His Imperial Majesty’s own hand: ‘So Be It’.” Ex the British Foreign Office Library, with their withdrawal stamp.