Romanov Tercentenary Cross for the Clergy, bronze (brass
gilt) version, circa 1913.
In brass gilt and enamels. Measures 67.1 mm in height, 41.6
mm in width; weighs 23.9 g. The main part is of single-piece
construction with a loop for neck ribbon soldered on the
reverse of the upper arm.
In very fine to excellent condition, outstanding for an
enameled badge of this vintage. There are some small flakes
to the blue enamel on the lower and left arms of the cross,
but because the damage is limited to the upper layer of
enamel and does not penetrate to metal, it is not easily
noticeable. The enamel elsewhere has only minor amount of
rubbing and some microscopic contact marks. The details of
the Cap of Monomakh are perfect and beautifully crisp; the
droplets at the bottom and the cross on top of the cap are
completely intact (they are often damaged or missing on
other surviving examples of the Tercentenary Cross). The
original gilt finish is extremely well-preserved and bright
on both sides.
The right to wear this cross was bestowed upon Orthodox
priests who'd personally participated in special church
ceremonies on 21 February 1913 marking the anniversary of
the Romanov Dynasty. This was the third and final in the
series of awards specifically created for the priesthood
during the imperial era (the first two were crosses awarded
to priests for praying for the army during the War of 1812
and the Crimean War). Unlike the earlier awards to priests,
all tercentenary crosses were privately ordered and
purchased, and most recipients apparently were able to
afford the more expensive version in silver and enamels.
Whatever might be the reason, in our experience bronze
Romanov Tercentenary crosses appear on the market far less
frequently than the silver ones.
/Dimitri Romanov "Orders, Medals and History of Imperial
Russia", p. 252/