Tsarskoye Selo won a number of precious artifacts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries at the recent Leclere and Bonhams auctions in Paris and London.
These Western European armour and weapons include plate armour (see above left, click to enlarge), several helmets (see above and below), halberds and sciavona swords (above right), a two-handed sword, and a wheel-lock carbine (above and below, left).
The most valuable is a 1550-75 German armour set consisting of a burgonet, a gorget and a cuirass with spaulders and tasses (above left).
All these items are rare Western European artifacts, previously not represented in our collection. In the nineteenth century, similar armour and weapons were on display at the Alexander Park’s Arsenal, which housed Emperor Nicholas I’s collection of over 5,000 items that were moved to St. Petersburg in 1885–6 and are currently on display and in the stores of the State Hermitage.
The purchased artifacts will complement the Tsarskoye Selo collection of oriental arms and grace the Arsenal pavilion after its restoration. The new display at the Arsenal is expected to open by the autumn of 2016.