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Where is the crown of the Russian Empire now?

260 years ago, the large imperial crown of the Russian Empire was created – the main dynastic regalia and attribute of power of the Russian monarchs. For the first time, Russian subjects saw her at the solemn coronation of Catherine II, which took place on September 22 (October 3, new style) 1762. From then until the fall of the monarchy, the large imperial crown witnessed the most solemn state ceremonies and significant events. It was with her that all Russian monarchs from Catherine the Great to the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II were crowned kings. Materials from the Presidential Library tell about the history of the crown of the Russian Empire. One of the first known attributes of supreme power – the legendary Monomakh cap – appeared in the 2014th century, under Ivan Kalita, and perhaps much later, as noted in the video lecture “Russian State Heraldry” (XNUMX) available on the library portal by Gleb Kalashnikov, Candidate of Historical Sciences , Executive Secretary of the Heraldic Council under the President of the Russian Federation. Around the 3th century, a set of attributes was formed that designated the supreme ruler of Rus’. The main one was considered the royal crown. For a long time, the royal regalia was treated, on the one hand, with great respect, and on the other, with consumerism. There were many crowns, their number fluctuated, some were lost, in particular, 4 or XNUMX during the Time of Troubles, some were created in connection with important events. Thus, the Kazan cap, similar to the Monomakh cap, but higher and more magnificently decorated, has survived to this day, which, apparently, was created for Ivan the Terrible after he captured Kazan. All Russian tsars were crowned with hats, up to the two brothers who ascended the throne at the same time – Ivan Alekseevich and Peter Alekseevich, the future Emperor Peter I. For their coronation it was impossible to use old hats, they were too big for the young tsars, so two identical hats were specially made . The imperial crown was never made for Peter the Great – when he changed his title from tsar to imperial in 1721, he did not need a second coronation. This is stated in the article by art historian, director of the State Hermitage (1918–1927) Sergei Troinitsky “Coronation Regalia” from the collection “Diamond Fund” (1925), which is stored in the electronic collections of the Presidential Library. The position of Ekaterina Alekseevna, née Marta Skavronskaya, a former peasant woman who became the first Russian empress, was completely different. The crown was specially made for her. It was “composed” of diamonds, among which was “a great number of amazing size.” The crown contained only one colored stone – a ruby ​​or yakhont, the size of “larger than a chicken egg and therefore significantly the most valuable of the rubies that are known to this day,” reported the description of the coronation of Catherine I, printed in St. Petersburg under the Senate. The first imperial crowns, like the royal crowns, were also treated pragmatically – after the coronation they were dismantled, and the jewelry adorning them was used for various other purposes. Only a skeleton remained of the crown of Catherine I; the fate of the crown of Peter II is generally unknown. The first imperial crown that has survived to this day is the crown that was made for the accession of Empress Anna Ioannovna to the throne in 1730. Stones from the crown of Catherine I were used to decorate it, including, according to historians, that same “notably the most valuable of rubies.” The crown was made by the most skilled jewelers in a very short time and with such high quality that it has not yet needed restoration. Starting with Catherine the Second, Gleb Kalashnikov’s video lecture tells us, the approach to crowns has changed: an understanding has come that a crown cannot be a utilitarian object, it must be eternal, like the Russian Kingdom itself. The large imperial crown for the sacred coronation of Empress Catherine II, according to Sergei Troinitsky, was made by the court jeweler Hieronymus Pozier. According to his recollections, Catherine instructed Chamberlain Betsky to break up outdated government jewelry and use it for a new crown. Pauzier selected everything that could be useful for the crown – the largest stones, diamonds and colored ones, “which amounted to the richest thing that is available in Europe.” In addition to the stones, 1 pound of gold and 20 pounds of silver were allotted to make the crown. As a result, despite the jeweler’s efforts to make the crown light, it turned out to be “five pounds in weight.” It is unknown how much the work of the crown cost, not counting the stones that were government-issued. But the book “The Diamond Fund” reports that Pozier’s total bill for work related to the coronation was 50 rubles, which was equal to the entire amount allocated for the coronation as a whole. Catherine the Great wished that this crown would remain in the same form after her coronation. And so it happened. The large imperial crown was never dismantled (only “adjusted” to the personal standards of the future monarch) and was not altered (except for the replacement of some pearls with larger ones by order of Paul I). The large imperial crown was considered a shrine. The last time the crown, along with other imperial regalia, was used was in 1906 in the St. George Hall of the Winter Palace at the opening ceremony of the First State Duma. This event can be seen on the Presidential Library portal in unique restored newsreel footage “Opening of the first convocation of the State Council and State Duma on April 27, 1906.” Currently, the large imperial crown is located in one of the halls of the Diamond Fund of the Russian Federation in the building of the Armory Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin. On November 8, in Moscow, Smolensk craftsmen showed the world for the first time a work of modern jewelry art – the Great Imperial Crown of the Russian Empire, recreated using the latest technologies for processing precious stones. The Great Imperial Crown is the main symbol of the power of Russian monarchs and the main imperial regalia. All Russian emperors were crowned with it, starting with Catherine II, especially for whose coronation it was created in 1762, and ending with the last emperor Nicholas II. The production of the crown was supervised by not entirely domestic craftsmen. The author of the sketches and frame of the original crown was the court jeweler Georg-Friedrich Eckart, and the selection of stones was carried out by the diamond master Jeremy Pozier. In 2012, when the original crown turned 250 years old, Smolensk craftsmen reproduced the famous jewelry masterpiece. More than 11 thousand diamonds were used to create the replica crown It is correct to call the new crown not a copy, but a replica of the Great Imperial Crown. What is the difference? Art critics call replicas repetitions of works of art, which may differ from the original in size and individual details. There are many known cases when artists and sculptors themselves made replicas of their own creations, often improving them. So the artistic value of a replica can be no less than that of the original. Now let’s dive a little into the process of working on a new jewelry masterpiece. While 250th-century craftsmen completed the imperial order in just two months, it took six to create a replica of the crown. First of all, it was necessary to thoroughly study the original. This is not so easy to do: the Great Imperial Crown is kept in the Diamond Fund of the Russian Federation. However, the treasure keepers met the Smolensk masters halfway. Thanks to the assistance of the Gokhran of Russia and the Diamond Fund of the Moscow Kremlin, this spring a group of professional artists and jewelers from Smolensk was able to study in detail the crown made XNUMX years ago. After this, computer modeling of this most complex piece of jewelry art began in Smolensk using three-dimensional graphics technology. In our age, everything starts with computer modeling At the same time, the necessary precious stones were sought. More than 11 thousand diamonds found their place in the unique crown, almost all of them are Yakut diamonds. More than half of the diamonds (57 percent) are graded as large, with the center stone weighing more than 10 carats. The recreated crown is crowned with a rare ruby-red stone, which jewelers call rubellite. Unlike the original, the base of the replica is not silver, but 585 white gold. All materials used, except for sea 54 pearls, were produced in Russia. No technology can replace manual work In total, 60 people worked on the creation of the imperial crown. Moreover, according to the head of the Kristall plant, Maxim Shkadov, they worked day and night, replacing each other. The new crown will not exactly repeat the Great Imperial Crown, and each unique stone in it had to find its place so that, in the language of jewelers, it would “sound.” A distinctive feature of the new crown is a modern design approach to decorating the frame with ideally cut diamonds and fundamentally new methods of setting them. The crown turned out to be quite weighty, about 300 grams heavier than the original. So Catherine II, who ordered a crown weighing no more than 5 pounds (2 kilograms), would have to refuse it. Although, who knows, if she saw the shine of this jewelry lace. New Crown Element: Diamond Lace The chief custodian of the Diamond Fund of Russia, Evgeniy Gopanyuk, gave his assessment of the jewelers’ new creation: “This work has no analogues in the world. If we could now take a closer look at the old cut diamonds, we would see some disproportions, the absence of what we call a spike (the point at the bottom of the stone – Author’s note). Instead, they used to make a small platform – a culet, and it gives its reflection on the upper surface. I have extensive experience working with unique exhibits from the Diamond Fund and can confidently say that modern masters have surpassed their famous predecessors in terms of their craftsmanship.” The crown is crowned with rubellite weighing 384 carats. More Russians will be able to get acquainted with the new Great Imperial Crown. According to the Government decree, exhibits of the Diamond Fund cannot leave their storage places, and therefore they can only be seen in the Moscow Kremlin. The replica of the crown does not yet belong to the foundation, but its creators plan to demonstrate it in the largest museums in the country in the near future. The price of the new creation by Smolensk jewelers is still kept secret. Performance characteristics of the Great Imperial Crown of the Russian Empire Materials used: silver, gold, diamonds, pearls, spinel. Diamonds: 4936 diamonds totaling 2858 carats. Pearls: 75 pearls. Spinel: 398,72 carats Height of crown with cross: 27,5 cm. Bottom circumference: 64 cm. Crown weight: 1993,8 g. TTX Replicas of the Great Imperial Crown Materials used: white, not rhodium-plated 585 gold, natural diamonds, pearls, rubellite. Diamonds: 11 round stones, totaling 426 carats; pear-cut diamonds; in the center of the “hoop” is a large oval-cut diamond weighing 1928-10 carats. Pearls: 74 natural large sea pearls arranged in two rows. Rubellite: size 50*42,5mm, weight 384 carats. Height of crown with cross: 35 cm. Bottom circumference: 63 cm. Crown weight: 2312 g.

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