Imperial Russia Order of Saint Anne Sword Knot for Gallantry, silver bullion knot with orange and black highlights, suspended from a red ribbon with narrow yellow border. Very Rare.
Condition: Good Very Fine.
In 1735 Karl-Friedrich, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, founded the Order of Saint Anne in commemoration of his deceased wife Anne, daughter of Tsar Peter I.
In 1741 Karl Ulrich Peter, son of the late Duke of Holstein-Gottorp was named successor to the throne of Russia by his aunt, Empress Elizabeth I. In 1742 the fourteen-year boy left the ancestral home in Kiel and took residence in Saint Petersburg, changing his Christian name to Peter Feodorovich, with the title of Grand Duke of Russia.
After the death of his father the young Peter became Grand Master of the Order of Saint Anne which had been established by his father. As such, he initially awarded the Order only to half a dozen noblemen, the award being still considered a foreign one. In 1761, upon the death of Empress Elizabeth I, Peter III, the new Emperor of Russia continued to bestow the Order, although no Russian statute of the award had been seemingly drafted during his short reign. Only six months after his succession to the throne, the supporters of his wife Catherine, born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, deposed and murdered him, the throne passing thus into the hands of Catherine.
During the long reign of Catherine the Great the awarded of the Order of Saint Anne continued, but it was Emperor Paul I, who succeeded his mother in 1796 who the following year drafted the official Statute of the Order and introduced it to the Russian award system. It became a three class decoration, the first two classes being awarded to deserving noblemen and members of the civil Administration and a third class to officers, to be worn on the hilt of the sword. Tsar Alexander I created a fourth class badge to be worn on the sword hilt. Tsar Alexander I created a fourth class badge to be worn on the sword hilt instead of the third class. Several additions were made during the following years, as for instance the Order with Swords, with Diamonds, with Crown, and finally the version for non-Christians.