Sash and Star of the Order of Saint Catherine
Thread, Sequins and Cloth
H 3.25 in x W 3.25 in
Gift. Vera Konstantinovna, Princess
Sash and Star of the Order of St. Catherine, the highest Imperial Order exclusively for females. Star is eight-pointed, silver sequins with gold and silver metallic thread embroidery. Central medallion with motto "ЗА ЛЮБОВЬ И ОТЕЧЕСТВО" ("For Love and Fatherland"). Sash is red moire, edged with silver thread. Order was instituted after Peter I's second wife, Catherine I, saved her husband, herself and the Russian army when they were surrounded by the Turks by bribing the Grand Vizir with her jewels. Star is very old (later versions were decorated with diamonds). Most likely belonged to the maternal grandmother of Princess Vera Konstantinovna, Princess Augusta of Saxe-Meiningen (1843-1919). Star was probably among the belongings of Princess Vera's mother, Grand Duchess Elizaveta Mavrikievna.