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May 9, 2009 – September 13, 2009
Museum: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Location: Sublevel 1
On view only in Washington, D.C., are some 64 objects offered as lavish gifts and tributes by the Ottomans and Safavids to the Tsars through large embassies, diplomatic missions, and trade delegations. This exhibition explores the reasons for these extraordinary gifts, their artistic and cultural impact, and the aesthetic and ceremonial etiquette they inspired, that became a defining characteristic of the Russian court and of the 17th century. Ranging in date from the late 16th century to the late 17th century, the works include rarely seen arms and armor, bejeweled ceremonial vessels, and regalia intended for the Russian court or the Orthodox Church.