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22 October 2021 – 14 February 2022

The State Historical Museum 


Organized by

the State Historical Museum 


the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography named after Peter the Great (Kunstkammer) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg); Marine Museum (Moscow), The Moscow Kremlin Museums, Museum of Russian Geographical Society (St. Petersburg), Central Naval Museum named after Emperor Peter the Great (St. Petersburg), Russian State Archive of Naval Fleet (St. Peterburg), Art Collection of Leipzig University (Kustodie der Universität Leipzig), Estonian Historical Museum (Таллин, Eesti Ajaloomuuseum), Russian State Library (Moscow), Central Naval Labrary (St. Petersburg), Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Peterburg), Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Peterburg), Institute of Mining Geology, Petrography, Mineralogy and Geochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow), archives of  the von Krusenstern-Prischepov family, A.G. Egorov’s collection

The Moscow Kremlin Museums participate in the exhibition dedicated to the 250th Anniversary of I.F. Krusenstern and the 215th Anniversary of the first Russian round-the-world voyage. The visitors' experience is expanded through memorabilia associated with Admiral I. F. Krusenstern, i.e. casket bureau, personal letters, book collection and globe, convolute map atlases with autographic notes in pencil.

The central part of the show presents artefacts of the first Russian circumnavigation expedition, such as atlases, manuscripts, pieces from the unique collection of fish collected in Japan by G.I. Langsdorf, exhibits from the ethnographic collection related to the peoples of Russian America (Kunstkammer). Drawings by W.G. Tilesius von Tilenau from the Art Collection of Leipzig University and objects from the collection of the Estonian Museum of History are on display in multimedia format. Particularly noteworthy are the ambassadorial gifts to the Emperor of Japan: a bone vase made by Nikolay Vereshchagin from the collection of the State Historical Museum and a cavalry officer's sabre with sheath from the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums.

Sabre and scabbard

The Japanese Emperor refused to accept diplomatic gifts from Emperor Alexander I, so the sabre returned from its round-the-world voyage and was handed over to the Cabinet of His Imperial Majesty by the member of the Krusenstern expedition, court counselor F. Foss, and in 1810 it was transferred to the Armory Chamber. The hilt pommel is made in the form of a stylized eagle head. The whole hilt surface and the steel parts of the scabbard are decorated with steel beads with bevels, polished as a diamond facet. This technique of decorating arms appeared as early as the end of the 17th century in England; it was widely used by Tula masters in Russia. The blade tang is adorned with gold damascening:  there is the monogram of Emperor Alexander I on the surface and the coat of arms of the Tula city on the inside. Stingray leather covers the sheath, which is typical of the richly decorated cavalry officer sabres made from the 1770s by the order of the Imperial Cabinet.