Портрет царя Алексея Михайловича

Alexey Mikhailovich

(19.3.1629 - 29.1.1676)

The elder son of Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich and Evdokia Lukyanovna Styreshneva.

Tsar (1645-1676)

Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov was crowned in 1645, no changes were added to the ceremony. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Joseph crowned the Tsar with the Crow of Monomakh, barmy, the cross, the golden chain and gave him the scepter and orb.

Держава и скипетр

Sceptre and orb

Orb. Turkey, Istanbul, 1662. Belonged to Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich.
Sceptre. Turkey, Istanbul, 1658. Belonged to Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich.

Appearance of the new scepter and orb in the Russian treasury is connected with the name of the new Tsar – Alexey Mikhailovich, the son of Michael Fyodorovich.

We should mention the fact that the place of creation was Istanbul, the capital of the Islamic state. It must have been caused by the fact the majority of first-class Istanbul jewelers were Greek, whose art was well-known and appreciated in Russia. The political point may have been the most important. Istanbul of the XVIIth century – was the former Constantinople, the former heart of the Orthodox World, named the second Rome by Russian writers in the late XVth century. That time, they called Moscow the heir to Byzantium, the third and the last Rome.

In the reign of Alexey Mikhailovich, the political doctrine of Ivan III's epoch became popular, and the royal order hinted it. According to the date on the scepter, it was executed in 1658. There is a legend, it was presented to the Tsar by a Greek Ivan Anastasov. In archives there are records the orb with already mentioned barmas were brought to Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich by a Greek, Istanbul citizen, Ivan Yuriev in 1662.

Бармы на оплечье

Barmy (regalia collar)

Turkey, Istanbul, second half of the XVIIth century.
Belonged to Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich.

Barmy of Alexey Mikhailovich executed in Istanbul on his order in 1662. It is a round silk collar, adorned with seven precious medallions. The centre of medallions are round golden plates with religious compositions of colour enamels. Three large medallions are of particular interest. Two of them are not plane, like all the others, but a little bossy. They were to cover shoulders. The shape of the third medallion is a bit different, so it can be considered a central one. It is adorned with a scene of Our Lady sitting with a Baby in her lap, crowned by two angels. One shoulder medallion includes a cross confronted by Saints – Byzantine Emperor Constantine and his mother Helen, who were famous devotees of Christianity. Another shoulder medallion presented Basil the Great and Saint Warrior Mercury, piking Emperor Julian, enemy of Christians. A legend says he was killed by Saint Mercury, who pretended to be an enemy warrior. The precious holy of the XVIIth century may have hinted the role of the royal power in the Christian world and the mission of the very Russian Tsar.


Diamond throne

Iran, 1659.
Belonged to Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich.

The throne was made by Persian makers in 1659 and presented to the Tsar by merchant Zakharia Saradarov from the Armenian Trade Company in Persia. The precious donation was attached to the petition of tax-free trading in the Russian territory. The merchants got 4000 silver rubles and 19000 copper rubles for the throne.

The throne base is made of sandal wood. It is coated with golden and silver plates, adorned with fancy ornamentations, turquoise and diamonds. For the prevalence of diamonds (more than 800 in all) the throne was named "Diamond Throne". On the back of the throne there is an embroidered inscription: "To the most powerful and invincible Muscovy Emperor Alexey doth reign felicitously upon the earth the throne made with sumptuous art would be a token of future eternal bliss in heaven. In the Year of Our Lord. 1659".