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     Home > IMPERIAL RUSSIA > Russian Imperial ORDERS

    Order of Saint Stanislaus, Civil Division, 1st class Breast Star for Non-Christians, by Keibel, late 1870s - 1899.

    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 "Kokoshnik").

    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.

    Item# 35090


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