The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in The Moscow Kremlin opens tomorrow at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.
The exhibit, which is done in collaboration with The Moscow Kremlin Museums, features 64 objects that were presented as gifts by the Ottomans and Safavids to the Russian Tsars. Gifts were given not just between sovereigns, but were also given by merchant traders who were seeking favors from the court.
The objects are from the 16th and 17th centuries and range from bejeweled bowls to saddles. While some of the pieces went into the royal treasury, some were intended for use by the Tsar and were part of the "Grand Attire" that he would wear for official functions. And many of the pieces were for use by horses, as the animals were sometimes given as gifts. I love how sumptuous these works are — nearly everything made of medal is encrusted with emeralds, rubies, peridots and other gems.
The exhibit runs through September 13.
Icon of the Milk-giving Mother of God Image Credit: The Moscow Kremlin Museums