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The grandson of Peter I and son of Tsarevich Alexey Petrovich and Princess Charlotte Sophie von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel – Peter II was declared an Emperor in May 1727 under the will of Empress Catherine I after her death. He was 11 years old. The coronation of Peter II was held on 25 February 1728. The Board of Foreign Affairs was in charge of its preparation. The board decided to keep the order of the coronation procession, excluding the visit to the Ascension Monastery, and to use the same decorations in the Assumption Cathedral which had remained from the previous coronation, namely a large coronation canopy that had been preserved ‘intact and suited to crown His Majesty'. It took three days and four ‘cannon apprentices ’ to lift the canopy with the help of blocks and fasten it to the bracing between the cathedral vaults. It was also decided to use again the coronation mantle of Catherine I. ‘The previous mantle’ turned out to be ‘suitable’ for the coronation of Peter II – only the ermine fur was renewed. However, there was produced a new crown. In addition to numerous diamonds, brilliants and big pearls, the crown was adorned with a large number of coloured stones – sapphires and emeralds. It was crowned with a big precious red stone’, overtopped with a nine diamond cross. The stone cost 60 thousand rubles and was framed with brilliants. Besides a new orb was created for the coronation of Peter II. It scaled 469 gramme, cost 280 rubles, and was made of golden chervonets.  

During the reign of Peter I, Russia borrowed from the west-european cultures the tradition of Ancient Rome to erect triumphal arcs \which initially had gone back to Ancient Rome. The rituals of triumphant processions that had been first held due to Russia’s military victories over Turkey and Sweden, served as a model for future ceremonial arrivals of monarchs to the ancient capital for the coronation. The first in a row was the arrival of Emperor Peter II to Moscow. Three triumphal arcs were erected to mark this event - at the Zemlyanoi Val, by the White City and the Voskresenskie gates in Kitay-Gorod. 

The ceremonial arrival of the Emperor in Moscow took place on 4 February. Together with his mentor Baron A.I. Osterman, he rode in a carriage with eight horses. After Peter II, only Empresses arrived in Moscow in carriages, all Emperors without exception rode on horsebacks and wore uniforms. Members of the Synod and students of the Slavic Greek Latin Academy met Peter II at the Voskresenskie gates. Theophane Prokopovich greeted Emperor on behalf of the clergy. Members of the Synod initiated a new custom of congratulating the Emperor – the presentation of icon to the ruler. This custom was preserved during the further coronations. Another novelty was the distribution of tickets of two types that were published in the printing house, numbered and indicated places in the cathedral. 

The coronation of Peter II had become the first imperial coronation in the history of Russia that was held according to the ‘set order’. Former Russian rulers ascended the throne through crowning, the order of which was used with slight changes by Peter I when he had crowned Empress Catherine I. The base for Peter II’s coronation was also the order of ancient crowning but with adjusted(?лишнее) experience of European countries, such as France, Sweden, the Holy Roman Empire, and Denmark. During the coronation, the mantle was laid over Peter II by Baron A.I. Osterman, the crown – by the bishop of Novgorod Theophane Prokopovich, who led the ceremony. After that Emperor took the sceptre in his hand and the bishop gave him the orb. 

The manifesto, published for this event, announced a tax relief and mitigation of punishment for the convicted. Besides, many employees got a promotion, the common people got eats and drinks and a ‘firework was burnt on the Tsarina's meadow’. 

A young Emperor, crowned with all the honours and celebrations, could not rule on his own. Almost all the time he entertained himself, while the state was governed by Prince A. D. Menshikov and then by A.I.Osterman and the Dolgorukys. Two years later Moscow began preparing for a new coronation – Anna, daughter of Tsar Ivan Alexeevich and dowager Dutchess of Courland succeeded a sort-reigning Emperor. 


Портрет императора Петра II


Russia, circa 1815. Unknown artist. 

Oil on canvas.

The iconography of this portrait was worked out by Braunschweig artist Iohann-Paule Ludden, who had moved to Saint-Petersburg in 1727 and made several portraits of the Emperor.  Peter’s solemn figure in the centre of the canvas dominates in painting space by aт expressive silhouette against the dark background. A young Emperor, wearing a suit of armour with St. Andrew’s ribbon across his shoulder, leans on a commander's baton. The portrait belongs to a set of the first dynastic series located in the Armoury chamber that was reconstructed after Napoleon’s invasion in 1812. Prince Yu.B. Yusupov, being in charge of Kremlin Construction and Workshop and the Armoury Chamber, was the one who initiated the creation of such a series.


Держава императора Петра II


Saint-Petersburg, 1727. 
Gold, silver; forging, casting, openwork, gilding.

The golden orb has small dimensions and weight since it had been designed for a young monarch – an 11-year-old Peter II, who was crowned Emperor upon Catherine I’s testament after her death. In March 1728, the orb was passed ‘for keeping to the Workshop’ upon Peter II’s order, sent from the Supreme Privy Council. In January 1730, a young Emperor died from variola before reaching the age of 15. He became the only Emperor of the Romanovs dynasty who was buried in the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, an ancient shrine of grand princes and tsars.


Коронационный костюм императора Петра II (кафтан и камзол).


France, 1727. 

Glazet, silk, gold threads; weaving, needlework.

The coronation of Peter II took place on 25 February 1728 and half a year later the costume worn by Emperor on this ceremony was passed to the Armoury Chamber upon the order of Vice-Chancellor A.I. Osterman. Apart from caftan, waistcoat and culottes made of smooth silver brocade with golden embroidery and black felt hat, the set included the lingerie – pants and shirt made of Holland linen with tie and cuffs, and two pairs of stockings. This is the earliest man’s coronation suit in the Kremlin collection and the only one being a fashionable model. It is traditionally thought to had been made in France\that it was made. The impression of fairy, dazzling opulence is reached by a combination of smooth silver brocade and precious gold embroidery. Imported brocade was used for royal garments starting from the 17th century. In the next century, its production was launched in a number of Russian silk-weaving fabrics, founded in Moscow during Peter I’s reign. 


Шпага в ножнах императора Петра II


Strasbourg, 1728. 

Steel, silver, wood, leather, fabric; forging, casting, carving, flat-chasing, gilding.

In 1766, the sword came from the Hoff-Intendant Chancery (construction and economic bureau) upon the order of Empress Catherine II. Earlier it belonged to Peter II and was kept together with his wardrobe. According to the marks on the silver hilt and scabbard, proving it originated in Strasbourg in 1728, one can assume that it was bought or ordered specially for Peter II, probably at the same time when Peter’s wardrobe was renewed before the coronation.  A steel blade of the sword is decorated with engraving and carving on both inner and outer sides at the ricasso.

A motto of the Order of the Garter in French is placed into the decorative stamp: Honni soit qui mal y pense (Shamed be whoever thinks ill of it). 


Жетон в память коронации императора Петра II


Moscow mint, 1728. 

Silver; chasing.

There is an inscription in five rows on the obverse side under the imperial crown: PETER II / EMPEROR / OF ALL RUSSIA / CROWNED/ IN MOSCOW. On the reverse side, a pedestal with a cushion, where imperial regalia lie - crown, sceptre and orb, is depicted in the rays coming from the Eye of Omniscience. There is an inscription along the circle: ‘FOR NATIONAL JOY’ and the date 1728 - under the milled edge. This counter came from the Archives in 1883.


Медаль в память коронации императора Петра II


Moscow mint, 1728. Medallist A. Schultz (the front side).

Silver; chasing.

Peter II wearing a crown of laurel, wig, suit of armour, and order of St. Andrew the First-Called, is portrayed on the obverse. A circumferential inscription runs as follows: PETER II EMPEROR AND SOVEREIGN OF ALL RUSSIA. At the edge of the right shoulder, there is the medallist’s signature: SCHULTZ. F. On the reverse, there are regalia – imperial crown, sceptre and orb depicted lying on the cushion under a radiant triangle.  The inscription in the milling edge says: CROWN. IN MOSC. 25/ FEBRUARY/ 1728. There is an inscription along the circle in a ring: ‘FROM YOU. WITH YOU. TO YOUR GLORY’. The medal was produced by Dutch medallist A. Schultz who applied for contract work in the Moscow mint in 1724. This medal shows further development of a tendency to magnificence and official splendour of medal portraits.