Foreign Orders of the Russian Emperors


This is an English edition of the book Иностранные Ордена Российских Императоров first published in 2018

Hardcover, full-colour high-quality illustrations, approximately A4 format, 416 pages

Written by Liudmila Gavrilova, Doctor of Historical Sciences, distinguished specialist in the field of phaleristics and medal art, custodian of the orders and medals collection of the Armoury Chamber, author and curator of the Moscow Kremlin Museums’ exhibitions on Russian and foreign orders, the monograph encompasses the results of countless years of research and attribution of foreign orders from the museum’s collection. The study of archival documents not yet in scientific circulation, analyses of a wide range of specialized literature and evaluation of historic objects available in public and private phaleristic collections made it possible to shine a light on a wide range of issues connected to foreign orders.

First foreign orders were bestowed in the reign of Peter I and by the end of the eighteenth century the Russian Empire had formed its own honours system, presenting awards that were on a par with those of other European states. The bestowal of European and later Eastern and American orders on Russian monarchs marked the period of strengthening of the Russian Empire on the international arena and the confirmation of its status as a world power. The research focuses on a time when the conferral of highest state awards served as the most significant foreign policy instrument ensuring improvement of diplomatic relations and guaranteeing acquisition of political allies. Each decoration presented to the Romanovs marked a new stage in the strengthening of imperial power in Russia, the rise of its significance and international standing. The display of the late emperor’s awards in mourning ceremonies became an integral part of the imperial ceremonial.

This monograph contains rich illustrative material, including previously never published photographs of historic objects from the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, unique documentary evidence and illustrations of masterpieces from European and American art collections.

Available on backorder


From the Editors of the English version This work is the result of many years of research by Liudmila Gavrilova dedicated to the attribution of foreign orders held in the Moscow Kremlin Museums. Meticulous analysis of archival documents, collaboration with museums and specialists from all over the world and extensive study of relevant historical literature have made it possible for Dr Gavrilova to reconnect treasures, anonymised by the upheavals of Russian history in the twentieth century, to their original owners.  This research has also given the opportunity to present a new view on the history of the honours system of the Russian Empire and its rulers. Dr Gavrilova’s continuing research has made it possible to include significant additions and add compelling details to this edition of the monograph which was first published in Russian in 2018. Apart from a detailed history of the Russian honours system, the book includes a comprehensive full-colour catalogue of foreign orders issued before 1917 in the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums and an updated list of foreign orders received by Russian emperors and empresses by name and by country.  Setting the development of the Imperial Russian honours systems in the context of Russia’s wider connections with Europe and beyond, from the time of Peter I, it is hoped that the work will be of interest to the professional historian, seasoned phalerist and indeed the casual reader. Dr Gavrilova is to be congratulated for her determination to bring this research to as wide an audience as possible through this English edition. Stephen Patterson, Catherine Lapinsh, Tom C. Bergroth

Additional information

Weight 2.6 kg