Fri, 07 Aug 2020

Culture July 14 2020 Russia Beyond

Moscow Kremlin Museums The Armory is the main treasury of the Moscow Kremlin Museums. It houses the attributes of the supreme power of Russian rulers from the 14th to the 17th centuries: from thrones, icons and ceremonial collars to crowns, scepters and orbs. You can study these treasures in detail in a new book published by the museum. 1. The Crown of Monomakh

Moscow Kremlin Museums

This is perhaps the most famous of the ceremonial headdresses of the Russian tsars. It is made of gold, emeralds, rubies, spinel and pearls, and trimmed with sable fur. Most scholars are inclined to think that the skullcap was a gift from Golden Horde Khan Uzbek to Moscow Prince Ivan Kalita, and was created by Golden Horde jewelers in the late 13th century.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

The crown got its name from a late 15th century legend whereby it was a Byzantine emperor's gift to Vladimir Monomakh, a grand prince of Kievan Rus.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

It was used in the coronation of the Russian tsars up until the late 17th century.

2. Icon-reliquary of the True Cross

Moscow Kremlin Museums

This embossed golden icon features a precious cross made in the 11th century from a fragment of the True Cross, and a panagia with three stones from the Holy Sepulcher and the cover of Jesus's tomb.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

It was brought to Moscow by Boris Godunov in the early 1600s.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

The cross was used in coronation ceremonies of the Russian tsars from 1547 onward.

3. Throne

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This magnificent throne made of gold plates inlaid with rubies, turquoise and tourmalines belonged to Tsar Boris Godunov, and was immortalized in the famous opera by Modest Mussorgsky.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

Made by Persian craftsmen, it was a gift from Shah Abbas I and was in use for almost two centuries.

Moscow Kremlin Museums 4. Scepter

Moscow Kremlin Museums

This is one of several scepters in the Armory collection. It was used in the coronation of Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich in 1613.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

The precious item was created by West European jewelers in the Late Renaissance style.

Moscow Kremlin Museums 5. Orb

Moscow Kremlin Museums

The scepter's companion - the orb - also comes from Western Europe of the early 17th century.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

Its upper section carries reliefs depicting scenes from the life of biblical King David.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

The orb is decorated with large gems - diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires.

6. Chain

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This golden chain of 88 links belonged to the first representative of the Romanov dynasty - Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

An inscription is engraved on each link, and together they make up a single text, which, among other things, features a prayer to the Holy Trinity and a complete list of Russia's lands at the time.

Moscow Kremlin Museums 7. Pectoral cross with a chain

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This diamond cross was made in the Kremlin workshops in 1662 and formed part of the regal Grand Attire.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

This item has a secret: in its center is another, smaller removable cross.

Moscow Kremlin Museums 8. The Crown of Monomakh, an official replica

Moscow Kremlin Museums

After Tsar Fyodor Alekseevich died childless in 1682, as a result of the boyars' intrigues, the throne was temporarily divided between two of his younger brothers, Ivan and Peter.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

At the coronation ceremony, 15-year-old Ivan, "weak of health and wits", got the original Crown of Monomakh (No. 1 on our list), while for 10-year-old Peter, this equally precious copy was made.

Moscow Kremlin Museums 9. Double throne

Moscow Kremlin Museums

This unusual silver double throne was made in the Kremlin workshops for Ivan and Peter.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

The magnificent item, which looks more like a baroque pavilion, has a secret third seat with an opening hidden behind the seat of 10-year-old Tsar Peter.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

This secret seat was intended for the young tsar's mentor.

10. Diamond Crown 1687

Moscow Kremlin Museums

This ceremonial crown belonged to Tsar Ivan Alekseevich, brother of Peter the Great, who ruled from 1682 to 1696.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

Interestingly, it was made in the Kremlin workshops out of jewelry and diamonds of previous rulers.

Moscow Kremlin Museums

You can find out more about these and other unique treasures from the Armory collection in the album, "State Regalia of the Muscovite Tsardom", which has been published in English by the Moscow Kremlin Museum.

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