April, 24 – Augustus, 16, 2015
One-Pillar Chamber of the Patriarch’s Palace
- Organised by:
- Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, The Moscow Kremlin Museums
This exhibition presents insignia of European Orders of Knighthood, from the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, from the prominent private collection of Andrei Khazin and pieces of insignia of the Order of the Garter from the Royal Collection bestowed upon Emperor Alexander II. The other contributors to this project are the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire (now a part of the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation) which is lending rare documents and the State Historical Museum which is lending portraits of members of the Russian Imperial Family.
The collection of Andrei Khazin, which started as a childhood hobby, has developed with time into a well thought-out and comprehensive collection of European orders. It includes insignia of the highest European orders, which as a rule are seldom represented in museum collections. Of special value are the collections of orders of Great Britain, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Prussia, Portugal, the Holy See and Napoleonic France. This collection also includes insignia of Russian rulers and other remarkable people.
An important discovery made while working on the exhibition was that one of the collars in the collection of Andrei Khazin was identified as having once belonged to the last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II. This is a Royal Victorian Chain, founded in 1902 by King Edward VII of Great Britain as a personal award of honour and is usually reserved for foreign monarchs, princes and heads of state. At the outbreak of war in 1914 it was brought to Moscow from Petrograd with other imperial possessions. It was removed, with other imperial property, from the Armoury Chamber, Moscow and passed to Gokhran (the State Repository of valuables) and was sold by the Bolshevik government. By lucky circumstances, nearly a century later it is returning to the Moscow Kremlin to be displayed in the exhibition.
The project is supported by:
Specialized media partner: