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The collection of artistic textiles comprises about four thousand exhibits. It includes one-piece secular and religious objects made from a variety of patterned fabric, as well as tapestry, banners and various accessories of secular dress accessories. The chronological span of the collection is from the 14th to the 20th centuries.

The basis of the collection is made up of various items used for the decoration of numerous state ceremonies and official tsars’ everyday life in the 16th-17th centuries, i.e. royal garments, diverse everyday and interior items, banners, ceremonial horse-cloth, saadak (quiver and bow-case) covers and many others. The best masters of the Kremlin workshops created these things from precious textiles brought to the royal treasury from abroad either through commercial or diplomatic ways. The decoration of these pieces is distinguished by luxurious materials and highly skilled execution. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the museum collection was enriched by the dresses of the Russian emperors and empresses, as well as by various objects that we used in the coronations traditionally held in the Moscow Kremlin. All these items were added to the museum’s inventory in the 19th century.

In the 1920s, numerous religious objects from the Kremlin’s and Moscow cathedrals and sacristies of the major Russian monasteries were integrated in the museum collection. Such unique pieces as the vestments of the Russian metropolitans and patriarchs were transferred there from the Patriarch's sacristy.

Today, the collection is a complex of separate thematic groups, such as

  • Old Russian secular dress;
  • objects of ceremonial secular life of the 16th and 17th centuries;
  • ceremonial garment of the Russian Imperial Court of the 18th and 19th centuries;
  • decorative items used in coronation celebrations of the 18th and 19th centuries;
  • ecclesiastical vestment from the 14th to 20th centuries;
  • drapery and décor of the Orthodox Church;
  • banners;
  • carpets and tapestries.

Of particular interest among the articles of Old Russian secular costume are the items associated with the names of Russian Tsars – Mikhail Fyodorovich, Alexey Mikhailovich, Peter Alexeevich (future Emperor Peter the Great).

The second group includes numerous examples of the so called "mansion attire" in the tsar's quarters, items of horse ceremonial attire, and military parades.

The third group consists of the coronation dress of the Russian emperors and empresses, as well as heraldic costumes.

Among the pieces in the fourth group are coronation baldachins and a large group of objects – official gifts to the Russian emperors and empresses on the occasion of coronation ceremonies.

The fifth group is a unique collection of liturgical vestments, such as sakkoses of Russian Metropolitans and Patriarchs from the 14th to 17th centuries, ecclesiastic phelonions and diaconal sticharions, many of which represents royal contributions to the Kremlin’s cathedrals and Russian monasteries.

Numerous podeas (veil), liturgical veils (air), throne covers, shrouds of Christ, palls, executed from patterned textile and adorned with pictorial and decorative embroidery, make up the sixth group.

The collection of banners comprises Russian colours of the 16th-17th centuries, a number of trophy banners of the 18th-19th centuries, and four State banners of the 18th-19th centuries.

Tapestry made by West-European masters from the 15th to the 20th centuries, Russian tapestry of the 18th and 19th centuries, and a several tufted carpets from the 17th century form the eights group.

Explore the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums online

 
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