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23 October 2020, the exhibition "Oriental Treasures in the Moscow Kremlin Museums’ Collection" has opened in the State Historical Museum of the South Urals in Chelyabinsk. About two hundred unique pieces of decorative and applied art from the Kremlin's collections— magnificent works by Eastern masters of the 15th-20th centuries—are presented here. Most of them originate from the Treasuries of Russian tsars and emperors. Many precious exhibits were presented to the Russian tsars by the ambassadors of the eastern states, while others were purchased to decorate the palace chambers or captured by Russian troops as trophies during the battles.

The exposition consists of seven sections, each of which reflects Russia's relations with this or that part of the East. One of the sections is devoted to the Ottoman Empire, with which Russia has established regular contacts since the late 15th century. In the 16th-17th centuries, Turkish culture had a great influence on tastes and preferences of Russian nobility, who highly valued arms and armour, jewellery, luxury goods, horse harness and rare fabrics, created in the Ottoman Empire. The exhibition features studded with precious stones cufflinks that adorned secular and clerical robes, arms and armour, horse harness, unique samples of Turkish fabrics of the 17th century, as well as ceremonial arms, armour and horse harness that were used in the 17th-18th centuries for ceremonial outings of sovereigns.

An important role in the exposition is performed by the masterpieces of Iran, trade and diplomatic relations with which were very important for Russia. Highly valued patterned silk fabrics, damask blades and precious stones were brought from Iran to Russia. In the section dedicated to Iran guests of the exhibition will enjoy richly-decorated horse harness, as well as daggers of the 17th-18th centuries, embellished with enamels and precious stones.

Relations between Russia and the peoples of the Caucasus in the 16th-18th centuries are represented by the samples of Caucasian cold steel and firearms, adorned with traditional Caucasian ornaments in the techniques of chasing and niello, gold inlay and gold damascening, beloved by local silversmiths.

Other sections tell about contacts of Russia with the peoples of Central and South-East Asia, with China and India. Among the unique exhibits are rare works of Chinese stone-cutting art, arms and armour from the collections of Russian emperors, as well as cold steel arms, presented to Soviet leaders in the mid-20th century. Visitors will discover the thinnest silver filigree of Goa masters, bright and complex enamels of Lucknow jewellers, daggers with jade handles inlaid with precious stones and gold, a shield made of rhinoceros leather and a traditional Indian sward—tulwar.

The exhibition, many exhibits of which left the Kremlin for the first time, is open until 7 February 2021 and will be of interest to both professionals and the general public.

 
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