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Federal State-Budget Cultural Institution "The Moscow Kremlin State Historical and Cultural Museum and Heritage Site", 2019. 416 pp., hard cover, wrapper. 1,000 copies.

Language: English.


Written by Liudmila Gavrilova, Doctor of Historical Sciences, distinguished specialist in the field of phaleristics and medal art, custodian of the orders and medals collection of the Armoury Chamber, author and curator of the Moscow Kremlin Museums’ exhibitions on Russian and foreign orders, the monograph encompasses the results of countless years of research and attribution of foreign orders from the museum’s collection. The study of archival documents not yet in scientific circulation, analyses of a wide range of specialized literature and evaluation of historic objects available in public and private phaleristic collections made it possible to shine a light on a wide range of issues connected to foreign orders.

First foreign orders were bestowed in the reign of Peter I and by the end of the eighteenth century the Russian Empire had formed its own honours system, presenting awards that were on a par with those of other European states. The bestowal of European and later Eastern and American orders on Russian monarchs marked the period of strengthening of the Russian Empire on the international arena and the confirmation of its status as a world power. The research focuses on a time when the conferral of highest state awards served as the most significant foreign policy instrument ensuring improvement of diplomatic relations and guaranteeing acquisition of political allies. Each decoration presented to the Romanovs marked a new stage in the strengthening of imperial power in Russia, the rise of its significance and international standing. The display of the late emperor’s awards in mourning ceremonies became an integral part of the imperial ceremonial.

This monograph contains rich illustrative material, including previously never published photographs of historic objects from the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, unique documentary evidence and illustrations of masterpieces from European and American art collections.