The collection of arms of Moscow Kremlin Museums includes about 8 thousands items of XI to XX centuries. Its basis are the two historically formed complexes: The Great royal armoury treasury - the Arsenal of the Russian Tsars of XVI-XVII centuries and The Imperial Rust-Chamber - the collection of arms of XVIII to the early XIX century. 

Armour and arms from both complexes were used by Russian rulers and noblemen in war, hunting, during ceremonies and parades. Some items of the Russian Tsars' ceremonial armour can be considered as military state regalia. Among them there are the famous "Cap of Ierikhon" made in 1621 by the best Royal Armoury craftsman Nikita Davydov and a saadak (a case for a bow and a quiver) that was made in 1627-1628 by a team of court jewelers of the Silver Department.

Of particular interest from artistic and technical side are examples of firearms, created in XVII century by Russian and foreign Armoury masters Pervusha Isaev, Ivan and Timophei Luchaninov, Grigoriy and Afanasiy Vyatkin, Philipp Timofeev, and in XVIII century - court armourers Pyotr Lebedev, Ivan and Gavrila Permyakov, Iogann Grekke and other eminent masters of that time. The works of West-European and Eastern masters brought like ambassadorial gifts or specially purchased abroad for the needs of the Court were of particular significance both in the collection of the Royal Armoury Chamber and in the collection of the Imperial Rust-Chamber.

The saadak of the "Grand set" of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich studded with precious stones, that was made in Istanbul in 1656 is particularly luxurious. Examples of firearms by West-European masters, such as Dutch Barent Penterman, French Claude Chasteau, Englishman John Howkins and many other famous armourers, are really splendid by their artistic decoration and high technical qualities.

Archive records of XVII-XIX centuries help to date an armoury item, to find out the place of its production and the way it appeared to the Arsenal of Russian Tsars and Emperors. All this make the monuments of the Moscow Kremlin a kind of models, the comparison with which can help in attribution of monuments from other museum collections.

In the early XIX century, on the order of Emperor Alexander I the both complexes were integrated in the building of the just established museum - the Moscow Armoury Chamber. Later the collection was filled both with detached monuments and whole groups of armoury items from the collections of M.P. Pogodin, P.F. Korobanov, from the Armoury Chamber of the Trinity-Sergios' monastery.

In the early XX century, the artillery collection of the Moscow kremlin was registered as a museum’s one.

The collection, including the illustrious Tsar-Cannon, is one of the world’s biggest collections. In the second part of the XX century the works by old masters were added by best modern armourers' creations.

The works by Russian, West-European and Eastern masters presented in the collection allow us to trace the development of world armoury culture through the ages.

Explore the collections of the Moscow Kremlin Museums online