Order of Saint Stanislaus, Civil Division, 1st class Breast
Star for Non-Christians, by Keibel, late 1870s - 1899.
Silver gilt, enamels. Measures 89.2 mm in height, 88.8 mm in
width; weighs 50.0 g. Reverse center medallion shows maker
mark "Keibel", double-headed eagle warrant, 84 silver
hallmark, and a hallmark featuring the crossed scepter and
anchors emblem of the St. Petersburg assay inspection. The
assayer's hallmark dates this piece to anywhere from late
1870s - 1899 (at the end of this period, the early St.
Petersburg hallmark was replaced by the more familiar
The center medallion features the national emblem of double-
headed eagle as opposed to the cypher of St. Stanislaus as
seen on a "regular" version of the order. Although often
referred to as awards "for people of other faith" (для
иноверцев), decorations of this type were officially given
only to non-Christians, not to Christians of other, non-
Orthodox denominations. The practice of replacing the image
or cipher of the Orthodox saint with the state emblem of
Russia as to protect the sensitivities of non-Christian
recipients (or more likely, to avoid blasphemy toward the
saint) started from 1845 and continued until WW1. Many of
the recipients were foreign statesmen and diplomats, awarded
either during their official visits to Russia or by Russian
royalty and court officials while the latter traveled
abroad. Of course, any such orders are extremely rare.
The star is in excellent condition. The fragile emerald
green enamel in the band is completely intact, without even
the tiniest chips or flaking - a very uncommon case. The
white enamel in the center medallion as well as dark blue
(black), blue and orange enamel of the double-headed eagle
are likewise perfect. The starburst shows very attractive
light patina; its beading and rays are beautifully crisp and
almost completely free of wear - there are but a couple of
tiny dings that are nearly unnoticeable, no edge bumps,
nicks or scratches. The superimposed letters of the motto
are likewise beautifully preserved and crisp. The gilt on
the reverse is pale but still visible in the recessed areas
around the center medallion, around the hinge and the catch
of the pin.
Considering the style of its hallmarks, this piece is
equally likely to be of either early Albert Keibel or very
late Julius Keibel manufacture. In addition to being a very
rare version, this impressive specimen of the Star of St.
Stanislaus is a prime example of true XIX C. workmanship -
before the increased demand in the years of the Russo-
Japanese War and especially WW1 led to the inevitable
reduction in quality.