10 RARE items from private collections to see in the Moscow Kremlin Museums (PHOTOS)

Moscow Kremlin Museums
Apart from items that belonged to the tsar's family, the Moscow Kremlin's collection includes unique treasures once collected by vintage enthusiasts.

After the 1812 War with Napoleon France, the enlightened circles of Russian society became actively interested in history and artifacts. Many priceless rarities were lost during the fires in that war and history buffs were looking for artifacts, trying to preserve and study the monuments of the Russian past.

One of the most famous collectors of the 19th century was Pavel Karabanov. All his life, he collected a variety of vintage artifacts and, in his home museum, he documented the life of Russian nobles. His collection was so vast and interesting that Emperor Nicholas I himself wanted to buy it entirely. Karabanov refused to part with it during his lifetime, but promised to bequeath it to the tsar upon his death. So, after the collector's passing, the oldest and most valuable part of the collection ended up in the Moscow Kremlin Museums. 

There were other contemporaries, history buffs, who possessed unique private collections that later found their way to the Kremlin: Count Alexei Musin-Pushkin, Prince Nikolai Yusupov and others. Below are some of the most interesting artifacts from these collections.

1. Icon ‘Our Lady of Vladimir’, last quarter of the 16th century

2. Powder flask, 1660

3. Earrings, 17th century 

4. Silver mirror frame. First half of the 17th century

5. Wine cup (charka), 17th century

6. Our Lady of the Sign icon pendant, first third of the 17th century

7. Cup with Karabanov family coat of arms. 1534-1585 

8. Tableware from Veliky Ustyug, third quarter of the 18th century

9. Medal with chain, 1690s

10. Drinking ladle (kovsh), 1764

Was granted by Empress Catherine the Great to merchant Luka Devyatov. 

On March 15, the Moscow Kremlin Museums opened the exhibition titled: ‘Amateur scholars of Russian history. Pavel Karabanov and Moscow collectors of the 19th century’, highlighting the private collectors who contributed to one of the main treasuries of Russia.

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