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The last coronation of Emperor Nicholas II and his spouse Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna took place on 14 May 1896 in the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. Its preparation had begun already in February 1895. By the April of the next year the magnificent decorations had transformed Moscow: triumphal arches, tribunes, pavilions and obelisks had been erected. Kremlin illumination, made after the drawings of artists N.N. Karamzin, A.M. Prokofyev and A.N. Benois, consisted of five hundred thousand fires. The illumination on Ivan the Great Belfry and tops of the Kremlin towers was installed by seamen, commanded by the Navy Admiralty. 

A special bureau led by V.S. Krivenko, Head of Chancellery by the Minister of Imperial Court, was organized for the correspondents. One hundred and thirty-one representatives of Russian and foreign press, fifty-nine photographs and fifty-seven artists highlighted the festivities. 

According to ancient tradition, the deputies were allowed to present bread and salt, and icons to Their Majesties. Only in Moscow during the congratulatory audiences, there were presented fifty-seven icons, twenty-three folding icons and two hundred eighty-five silver dishes. The latter were installed in the St. Andrew’s and St. George’s Halls of the Grand Kremlin Palace and composed a collection, rare by its artistic execution and exquisiteness. Since it cost a significant amount of money, the Emperor desired that next time such precious presents would have been substituted by donations to local charity organizations.

On 6 February, ‘The Large Seal of State’ was solemnly delivered from the State Archive to the Armoury Chamber, on 6 April – the regalia from the Brilliant Room of the Winter Palace, and on 17 April the carriages for the coronation procession were transferred on an express train. The Emperor and the Empress arrived in Moscow on 6 May 1896 – Nicholas II’s birthday. The solemn entry of the Emperor took place on 9 May – the day of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. The Emperor rode a white English horse with silver horseshoes. In the Assumption, Archangel and Annunciation Cathedrals the imperial couple kissed the most revered icons and relics. 

On the Pentecost, 13 May, the crowning, the transfer of the regalia from the Armoury Chamber to the throne hall of the Kremlin Palace and the repetition of the ceremonial procession to the Assumption Cathedral were announced. During the repetition, the pages of the chamber substituted the Emperor, the Empress and the Dowager Empress. The tickets were given according to the list of names and signed by the palace superintendent. The published list of ‘noblemen who arrived in Moscow for the coronation of Their Majesties’ takes one hundred and eighteen sheets. 

On the morning of 14 May, the court choir occupied an elevation between the Annunciation and the Archangel Cathedrals. It performed a hymn and ‘Fanfares’ by P.I. Chaikovsky from the music to the tragedy ‘Hamlet’ by W. Shakespeare.

The celebration of the divine service performed by Palladius, Metropolitan of Saint-Petersburg and primary member of the Most Holy Governing Synod, began at 10 a.m. on the special dais, mounted in the centre of the Assumption Cathedral. Then, the liturgy followed and when it was over the Emperor and his spouse were anointed and received the Holy Communion.  That day the Emperor and the Empress bowed to the people twice: first time from the Red Porch, and then from the balcony of the Kremlin Palace.

After the divine service, the guests from the Russian subjects were invited to the Tsar dinner held in the Faceted Chamber of the Kremlin. Upon tradition, the foreign representatives were offered meals in other venues of the palace.

Before the dinner began, in front of everyone six chamberlains carried and installed a table on the throne place, then they put three precious historic salters and only then – the tableware. After the first meal, Count P.S. Stroganov served His Majesty honey in an antique Moldovian vessel on a golden tray. During the dinner, the toasts to the health of the Emperor, Empress Maria Fyodorovna, Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, the whole imperial house, the clergy and all loyalists were proposed. The soloists, choir and orchestra of the Russian opera performed the ‘Cantata for the Sacred Crowning of His Imperial Majesty Sovereign Nicholas II’, written by composer A.K. Glazunov and popular playwright and head of the repertoire part of Saint-Petersburg imperial theatres V.A. Krylov.

With the twilight, Their Majesties went out on the balcony of the Kremlin Palace. The Empress was given a bouquet that lit up with numerous small electric lamps, and thanks to a special wiring ‘the whole Kremlin sparkled at the same moment with millions of lights. It was a wonderful scene. A crowd of thousands was standing below and greeting Their Majesties with a cry of admiration.’ That day the dinners for fifty thousand poor were organized in twenty-two Russian towns ‘at Tsar’s expense‘. Upon Emperor’s will, five thousand of the poorest Muscovites had meals in the monasteries at his expense during all days of the coronation events. 

However, the most powerful historic memory left from that coronation was not the festivities or splendid ceremonies, prepared with so much effort and money, but the death of people, who had gathered on the Khodynskoe field on 18 May for a public festival, ordered by the Emperor ‘upon the tradition of his majestic ancestors. The official edition later noted that in the current situation it had been impossible to cancel the festival and stop the celebrations for a half-million crowd. When the imperial standard had fluttered above the imperial pavilion at 2:05 p.m. and Their Majesties entered the balcony of the upper storey, they were greeted by the mighty ‘hurrah’ that drowned both the orchestra and the bell toll. The imperial couple bowed to people many times.

On 24 May 1896, Nicholas II made a note in his diary: ‘We have rapidly toured the Armoury Chamber, in the lower halls of which Japanese Prince Fushimi presented us with wonderfully beautiful gifts from Emperor and my friend Satsuma’.  The next day Moscow celebrated the birthday of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. In the St. George’s Hall of the Kremlin Palace, a luxurious dinner was held for the ambassadors and envoys. On the last day of Their Majesties’ stay in Moscow, 26 May, a special Manifesto was published. The Emperor thanked ‘the population of the first capital’: ‘pleasant to my heart, evidence of love and utter devotion of people to its sovereign was expressed with special emphasis on the day of the public festival, and served a touching consolation in the distressing misfortune among the bright days, which had happened to many attendees of the celebration’. 

Миропомазание императора Николая II в Успенском соборе (по рисунку В.А.Серова)


Saint-Petersburg, 1899.

Among the artists, invited to illustrate the Coronation album of Nicholas II, there was  Russian artist V.A. Serov, who was present at the coronation ceremony in 1896. He pictured one of the main episodes of the divine service – the Emperor’s anointing that was performed by Palladius (Raev), Metropolitan of Saint-Petersburg and Ladoga. The water-colour by V.A. Serov served as the base for the chromolithography which was included into the Coronation Book. This water-colour comes from the Album of Drawings that were created by artists after the sacred crowning in 1896 and that are now preserved in the State Russian Museum.

Коронационный мундир императора Николая II


Saint-Petersburg, military uniforms atelier  of N.I. Nordenstrem (?), 1896.

Cloth, reps, cashmere, gold threads, linen, spangles, metal, cord, decorative pierced metal plates; weaving, needlework. 

During his coronation, which took place on 14 May 1896, the last Russian Emperor was wearing a colonel’s uniform of the Preobrazhensky life guards’ regiment – the first of the two oldest regiments of the Russian imperial guard, founded by Tsar Peter I in 1691. Having inherited from his father and grandfather the attitude towards the guard as a family, Nicholas II preferred the uniform of this regiment, where he had done the military service, to all others. By the time of the enthronement, he had the rank of the Colonel of the Preobrazhensky regiment, and having become the Emperoro, he was especially proud ‘to stay the common colonel’. His coronation uniform is made of dark-green cloth with white welt, red collar and cuffs embroidered with gilded threads. The embroidered patternis distinctive for the Preobrazhensky regiment and is complicated both by its composition and technique. The uniform is decorated with epaulettes with the monogram of Emperor Alexander III and gilded aiguillettes. On the chest, there is a turndown placketing that the sovereign unfastened himself for the anointment during the coronation ceremony. All uniforms for the Emperor are known to have been ordered in the military uniforms atelier of N.I. Nordenstrem – ‘the famous king of Russian military tailors, who had dressed up the cream of guard dandies’. Nikolay Ivanovich Nordenstrem was a ‘true artist in his business’, and the uniforms he styled had ‘the print of austere elegance and good courtesy’. 

Сапоги герольдские


Russia, 1896. Maker E. Shtumpf.

Leather, satin, braid; needlework, casting, chasing. 

The boots of the coronation herald’s costume are made for the coronation of Nicholas II. The gilded spurs, which are fastened to the embroidered Hessian boots, were created upon the instructions of E.P. Ponomarev, artist of the imperial theatres.



Плафон от коронационного балдахина


Russia, 1896.

Velvet, satin, glazet, gildedcord, spangles, foil, gilded and silk threads, metal; weaving, needlework, applique work.

The plafond from the hanging or suspended canopy in the Assumption Cathedral was created for the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. Upon the tradition that had begun on the coronation in 1724, it was made of crimson velvet. The coat of arms of the Russian Empire is placed in the centre and Emperor’s monograms are at the corners surrounded by the chain of the Order of St Andrew the First-Called.  The coat of arms is made in the applique technique and its elements of glazet and coloured satin are embroidered with foil, spangles, gilded and silk threads. All gold embroidery was made by the nuns of three Moscow convents – the Voznesensky, the Novodevichy and the Alexeevsky.

Шествие императора Николая II после коронования в Архангельский собор 14 мая 1896 года


The black and white photography is made on enamel paper and stuck down to the letterhead with the ornamental frame, the upper part of which depicts the Monomakh’s Cap, sword, sceptre, and an inscription thereunder, typed in ornate lettering: ‘The days of the Holy Coronation of Their Imperial Majesties in Moscow’. Under the photograph, there is another inscription - the title typed in a Church Slavic font: ‘A Solemn Procession of the Sovereign Emperor to the Archangel Cathedral’. At the bottom of the frame, the name of the photographer is typed: Photogr. by L.L. Konosevich in. Nikolaev. The photograph shows the procession of Emperor Nicholas II from the Assumption Cathedral to the Archangel Cathedral on 14 May 1896. Nicholas II under the canopy is in the foreground in the centre. The Marshal of the Imperial Court Count  P.K. Benckendorff (from left to right), Chief Marshal of the Court Prince S.N.Trubetskoy, the Supreme Marshal Count K.I. Pahlen and Metropolitan of Saint-Petersburg and Ladoga Palladius (Raev) surrounded by two deacons go before the Emperor. 

Шпага коронационного герольда


Moscow, the Bolshoi Theater workshops, 1896.

The steel blade of the sword is forged, straight, double-edged, and has a rectangular cross-section. The hilt of copper alloy is moulded and gilded; the guard consists of a cross and figured openwork plates. The curled grip is topped with a cone-shaped pommel. The sword-knot made of silver brocade with silver tassel is fastened to the hilt. The wooden scabbard is covered with crimson velvet. The gilded set of the chape and locket with a hook for the pendant is made of copper alloy. The swords of the coronation heralds were created in a fantasy manner, especially for the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II in 1896. After the ceremony upon the tradition, they were transferred together with the coronation attires to the Armoury Chamber for keeping.




Moscow, ‘A.&V. Sapozhnikovs’ firm, 1896.

Gilded brocade, silk, gilded and silk threads, cannetile, spangles, decorative pierced metal plates, galloon, braid, silver, fringe; weaving, needlework.

During the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II on 14 May 1896, all clergymen in the Moscow Kremlin were dressed in vestments specially made for this event out of splendid brocade in one of the most recognized Russian textile fabrics of ‘A.&V. Sapozhnikovs’ brothers. Founded in 1837, the firm had rapidly developed a reputation thanks to its brocade fabrics. The firm’s products had many times been honoured with the highest awards in national and foreign exhibitions. The sakkos is a part of the archbishop’s vestment, created for the coronation of Nicholas II. The main element of the fabric’s pattern is a two-headed eagle under the crown with a sceptre in his right claw. ‘The Venetian gilded velvet with eagles’, which had been delivered to the Moscow court in the late 17th century, served as a sample. This velvet is known to have been used for the ceremonial caftan of Tsar Fyodor Alkexeevich and the ceremonial dresses of his wives – Tsarinas Agafya Semyonovna and Marfa Matveevna. The caftan of Fyodor Alkexeevich was inherited by his junior brother Tsar Ivan Alexeevich, and in 1696 it was redesigned for Patriarch Adrian into a sakkos that is now being kept in the Armoury Chamber. In the process of fabric creation for the coronation events in 1896, the pattern of Italian velvet was successfully reproduced by Russian textile men in another, brocade technique. The sakkos was obviously made for the Metropolitan of Moscow Sergius (Lyapidevsky), who participated in the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II together with the Metropolitan of Saint-Petersburg and Ladoga Palladius (Raev) and Metropolitan of Kiev Ioannicius (Rudnev). After 1896, the sakkos was kept in the sacristy of the Assumption Cathedral.

Сосуд для миропомазания


Russia, 1830s.

Paper; water-colour, Indian ink, whiting, colour wash.

The drawing depicts a vessel for anointment that was created obviously in Western Europe in the 17th century and used for the coronations of Russian Emperors. The vessel was made of onyx(?) in the form of an oval; its golden mounting is decorated with precious stones and enamel. The lid is topped with a coiled snake. At the bottom, there is an ink inscription stating that it belonged to Augustus Caesar. Obviously, this bowl corresponded to the relic of Russian princes and tsars that was known from the sources as ‘a cornelian bowl’, ‘out of which Augustus, Tsar of Rome, was rejoicing’. The vessel used for ‘the anointing of righteous sovereigns’ was situated in the sanctuary of the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. It was used during the last coronation of Nicholas II in 1896. Already in 1915, there were no traces of it in the inventory of the Assumption Cathedral’s sanctuary. Its current location is unknown. 



Russia, the 19th c.

Velvet, silk, gold threads, spun gold, pearls, glasses, stones, silver; needlework, weaving, enamel.

Upon Emperor Paul I’s order of 18 December 1797, a mitre became one of the awards for distinguished archpriests. However, during the whole 19th century the awarding of mitres took place quite seldom. Initially, mitres were distributed from the cabinet of His Imperial Majesty only upon the highest order, and only in 1859 the Holy Synod was allowed soliciting to award the dignified persons among the clergy. The presented mitre was made of red velvet. A large, round decorative plaque with the image of Sabaoth and the Holy Spirit as a dove is placed above in the centre and is made in painted enamel technique. The lower part has four large oval plaques of coloured enamel with the images of Christ, the Virgin, John the Precursor and ‘Crucifixion’. The mitre is decorated with floral ringlets and flowers, embroidered with pearls. The presented mitre might have been used by archpresbyter N.N. Svetovidov-Platonov during the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II. 

Жетон в память коронации императора Николая II и императрицы Александры Федоровны


Saint-Petersburg mint, 1896.


On the obverse, there are the monograms of Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna under the imperial crown; the inscription along the edge says GOD WITH US. On the reverse, there is an inscription under the imperial crown: CROWNED/IN MOSCOW/1896.


Мешок для раздачи коронационных жетонов


Russia, the second half of the 19th c.

Velvet, leather, gilt galloon and cord, copper; weaving, braiding, casting, gilding.

The tradition to distribute coronation counters and medals as a part of the coronation ceremony originates in 1724. Yet in the first half of the 18th century, the coronation commission ordered special velvet sacks with gilded tassels, lining of red goat leather, and copper rings for gilded cords to pull the sack. Both sides of the sack were decorated with copper chased gilded coats of arms of the Russian Empire. During the coronation of Empress Anna Ioanovna two similar sacks were assigned ‘for medals’, and during the coronation of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna – ‘to distribute counters’. Such sacks were used many times and kept in the Armoury Chamber, where one could count 20 pieces by the end of the 19th century. During the coronations of Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II, velvet sacks with decorative eagles were used to transfer printed advertisements of the coronation.

Подушки для спинок тронов


Moscow, 1896; embroidery — nuns of the Acsension Convent in the Kremlin.

Velvet, reps, satin, glazet, gold threads, decorative pierced metal plates, spangles, cord, tassels; weaving, needlework, applique work.

According to tradition, the ancient tsar thrones were used during the coronation ceremony. They were delivered from the Armoury Chamber to the Assumption Cathedral on velvet ropes, and there they were placed on a special pedestal under the canopy. In 1896, during the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II, the so-called ‘bone’ throne was prepared for Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, the ‘diamond’ throne of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich – for Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna, and the ‘golden’ throne of Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich – for Emperor himself. Seats and backs of the thrones were covered by cushions of crimson velvet with the help of gilded cords with tassels. These cushions decorated with figured monograms under the imperial crown and framed by the chain of Order of St Andrew the First-Called were produced for the backs of the thrones of the Emperor and Empress. After the coronation ceremony, the thrones were taken together with cushions to the Faceted Chamber for the gala dinner and put under the canopy. All of the embroideries for the coronation were made upon the desire of Their Imperial Majesties in Moscow nunneries. The cushions for the backs of the coronation thrones were embroidered in the Vosnesensky women’s monastery in the Kremlin. The cord with tassels that decorates the cushions was taken from the cushions destined for Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Fyodorovna during their coronation in 1883.

Медаль в память коронации императора Николая II и императрицы Александры Федоровны


Saint-Petersburg mint, 1896. Medallist А.F. Vasutinsky.

Gold; chasing.

On the obverse, there are portraits of Emperor Nicholas II andEmpress Alexandra Fyodorovna. The inscription along the edge says:EMPEROR NICHOLAS II AND EMPRESS ALEXANDRA FYODOROVNA. CROWNED — 1896 — IN MOSCOW. The signature of medallist A. Vaskiyis beneath the image of the Emperor. On the reverse, there is the minor coat of arms of the Russian Empire.The inscription at the top says: GOD WITH US. The tradition to depict the minor coat of arms of the Russian Empire on the coronation medal dates back to 1856, when it appeared on the coronation medal of Alexander II.



Moldova, 1580.

Silver; chasing, carving; gilding.

The essential part of the ceremony on the coronation day was the gala dinner in the Faceted Chamber. On that day, the ancient precious tableware was brought there from the Armoury Chamber. When the first dish was served, the Emperor put off the crown and together with the orb and sceptre passed it to the appointed persons to lay it on a special table. After the Metropolitan of Moscow blessed the repast, the meal was passed to His Majesty’s table and the oberschenk served the sovereign with a vessel with mead on a golden tray for the first toast. The antique Moldavian beaker from the ancient tsar’s treasury was used during the two latest coronations of Alexander III (1883) and Nicholas II (1896). One can assume that the beaker was chosen for this role as the oldest sample of such tableware in the treasury of Russian tsars.

Меню коронационного обеда в Грановитой палате Московского Кремля 14 мая 1896 года (по рисунку В.М.Васнецова)


Moscow, Levenson’s Printing-house, 1896.

Paper; chromolithography.

The menu of the gala dinner which took place in the Faceted Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin on the coronation day 14 May 1896 is made in the form of a scroll. Along the upper edge, there is a text written in the Old Russian ligatured script: the Holy Enthronement of His Majesty Emperor Nicholas II and Her Majesty Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. The upper part of the sheet places the ornamental background with the imperial monograms and the scene of Mikhail Fyordorovich’s coronation ceremony. Three two-headed eagles belonging to different epochs are depicted in the centre below, on the left and the right. The list of dishes is placed between them and is styled on the Old Russian ornate cursive writing. The lower part of the menu has the scene of bread and salt presentation by the persons in ancient Russian costumes and glorification text framed by floral ornament and decorative motifs, taken from the Old Russian manuscripts.

Андреевский зал Большого Кремлевского дворца


К.А. UkhtomskyRussia, 1849.

Paper, cardboard; water-colour, Indian ink, whiting, lacquer.

The ceremonial throne hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace is featured in this water-colour. It is located along the main axis of the building and looks onto the Moskva River. The hall was named after the highest order of Russia – the Order of St Andrew the First-Called. During three coronation events in 1856, 1883 and 1896, which took place in the Grand Kremlin Palace, St Andrew’s hall was the place whence the ceremonial procession of the imperial family started to the Cathedral Square of the Kremlin. Before the coronation, the state regalia were brought from the Armoury Chamber also here. When the coronation was over, the crowned heads visited Archangel and Annunciation Cathedrals, returned to the palace through the Cathedral Square, passed through the enfilade of ceremonial halls and ended this part of the ceremony in the throne hall.

Александровский зал Большого Кремлевского дворца.


К.А. UkhtomskyRussia, 1849.

Paper, cardboard; water-colour, Indian ink, whiting, lacquer.

One of five ceremonial halls of the imperial residence in the Kremlin is featured in this water-colour. The hall is named after the Order of St Alexander Nevsky. On the days of coronation events, the receptions of embassies from different countries took place in St Alexander’s Hall, during which the credentials were handed over. After the coronation, the representatives of diverse classes and regions of Russia gathered in the palace to congratulate the imperial couple. The guests were awaiting the reception in certain halls. Thus, on 15 May 1896, the next day after Nicholas II had ascended the throne, the clergy, the members of the State Council, ministers and senators gathered in St Alexander’s Hall. The gala dinners on the event of the coronations were also held in this hall.

Проект тронного места в Андреевском зале Большого Кремлевского дворца


А.Е. KomarovskyRussia, 1895.

Paper; water-colour, Indian ink, gold paint.

The design for the Dias and thrones due to the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II in 1896 is featured in this water-colour. A.E. Komarovsky, the conservator of the Armoury Chamber and equerry of the imperial court, made this design and participated in preparations for the ceremony. According to the signature above – ‘Highly approved. Baron Frederiks. Peterhof 3 August 1895’ - this project was accepted for execution.

The throne place in St Andrew’s Hall was the initial and the final point of the coronation procession in the palace. It was St Andrew’s Hall, where the state regalia of the Russian Empire including the Banner of State were transferred from the Armoury Chamber on the coronation eve. The regalia were placed on the special table on the right from the throne. The coronation procession to the Assumption Cathedral started from St Andrew’s Hall. First, the regalia were taken out and then the Emperor and the Empress went out with the retinue.

When the ceremony was over in the Assumption Cathedral, the procession returned to the throne hall of the palace, where the Emperor gave the sceptre and the orb to specially appointed dignitaries. Then he went to the inner apartments wearing the crown and the purple mantle for a short rest before the gala dinner in the Faceted Chamber. During the next few days, Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna accepted congratulations from the representatives of all social classes of the Russian Empire, seating on the thrones in St Andrew’s Hall.



Moscow, 1898.

Wood, silver; carving, enamel, gilding.

Wooden salter decorated with ornamental carving and an image of the Russian state coat of arms was presented together with bread and salt to Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna by Moscow Old Ritualists during their visit to Moscow in 1898. Plenty of similar salters with dishes were given as a gift to the sovereigns on the coronation days.  In the 19th - early 20th centuries, such ceremonial items for bread and salt presentation preserved that old tradition of special attitude towards salters, their decoration and place on the table, which was initially determined by rarity and high price of salt. In the second half of the 19th – early 20th centuries, wooden and silver salters in the form of thrones with removable lids-seats were produced mainly in Moscow, which contrasted with the capital – Saint-Petersburg – by its subsequent adherence to native and Old Russian traditions. This salter, which combined the form of folk Russian salters and ornamental design originating in the Old Russian motifs, is typical for the period of Russian historicism. The usage of wood, the beloved material of Russian national art, is also characteristic of it.

Подносное полотенце


Lodz, 1896.

Satin, silk, velvet, gilded and silk threads, chenille, spangles, beads, glass; weaving, embroidery, applique work.

One of the brightest traditions of the imperial court was the presentation of bread and salt to the monarch after the coronation. This ritual was officially introduced during the reign of Nicholas I and according to the contemporary showed ‘people’s virtues and gratitude to the sovereign, who does not stand aside anyone and respects the traditions of the ancestors’. Besides, it was also allowed to present icons. In the majority of cases, these presentations were made on towels, embroidered by local handywomen. A luxurious white satin towel with an inscription embroidered with gilded threads was made for the coronation of 1896. The inscription says: ‘A loyal offering from the residents of Lodz town’. One of the edges is decorated with the State coat of arms embroidered with black silk threads and framed above with the branch of the laurel and below with the inscription: ‘God, save the Tsar’. The other edge places the monogram of Emperor Nicholas II embroidered with chenille and gilded threads under the crown and the canopy, stuffed with ermine fur and decorated with tassels. There are large appliсative images of Monomakh’s Cap and Imperial Crown at the corners. This towel was served to the Emperor with bread and salt on a silver dish and a salter on it.

Коронационный сборник


Saint-Petersburg, State Papers Office, 1899; cover ‘O. Kirchner’ factory (after a design by N.S. Samokish).

Paper, cardboard, calico, leather, copper; print, chromolithography, zincography, autotype, phototype, heliogravure, photolithography, printing ingolden andsilver, stamping ingold and colour, gilding, electrotype, silvering.

The book dedicated to the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna was published by the Ministry of Imperial Court ‘upon the permission of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor’ in two volumes. A big team of authors was working on this book under the guidance and editing of V.S. Krivenko, Head of the Chancellory of the Ministry of Imperial Court. The edition was illustrated by N.S. Samokish, E.P. Samokish-Sudkovskaya, S.I. Vasilkovsky. Besides, it includes a large pictorial material, made after the original drawings by N. Benois, V.M. Vasnetsov, K.V. Lebedev, V.E. Makovsky, I.E. Repin, A.P. Ryabushkin, V.A. Serov and other painters, as well as the reproductions of historical documents, portraits, state regalia and numerous photographs of the Romanovs family members, participants and guests of the coronation. The binding is decorated by the electrotyping copies of the coronation medals of 1896, placed on the upper cover: the reverse is on the first volume, the obverse – on the second one.