THE FULL BLAZON OF
THE GREATER COAT OF ARMS OF
THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE
Translated from Russian into English by Commander V. Yegorov in 1991
Or, a double-headed Imperial Eagle displayed Sable, twice imperially crowned proper, armed and membered Gold, langued Gules, grasping in the dexter claw an imperial sceptre, and in the sinister claw an imperial orb, all proper. In chief another bigger imperial crown with issuant and pendent therefrom a blue-celeste ribbon of the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called.
The Imperial Eagle is charged on the breast with an escutcheon: Gules, an image of the Holy Greatmartyr and Victorybearer George in complete armour Argent, wearing a flying cloak Azure, riding a horse in full gallop Argent, the latter is covered
with a horse-cloth Gules, fringed, bridled and maned Or, and treading upon a dragon crawling in base Or, winged Vert, whose head the rider
is piercing through with a spear, the rear end of the latter is terminating in an Orthodox cross Gold (for Moscow).
Above the escutcheon is placed a helmet of St. Prince Alexander Nevsky, with a mantling Sable, doubled Or. The shield is encircled with the collar and pendent therefrom a badge of the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called.
And for supporters are: on the dexter side St. Archangel Michael in complete armour,
holding in the dexter hand a sword enflamed, all proper; and on the sinister side St. Archangel Gabriel habited proper, holding in the sinister hand a long cross Gold.
All displayed within an imperial robe of estate with a pavilion Or, semée of imperial eagles, doubled Ermine,
and ensigned with an imperial crown proper. Along the pavilion's rim is a motto : which means
"GOD WITH US", lettered Gules.
And above all, issuant from behind the pavilion and the imperial crown, is a state
gonfannon Or, fimbriated of the state livery colours: Sable, Or, and Argent, and emblazoned with the Lesser Coat of Arms of the Russian Empire. The imperial robe of estate is semi circled below by nine shields, each being ensigned with its proper crown, displaying the coats of arms of the Titular Kingdoms and Principalities of the Russian Empire, and the
ancestral Arms of the Russian Emperor, namely:
I. Argent, a wyvern Sable, crowned and armed Or, winged, langued and tailed Gules
(for the Kingdom of Kazan).
II. Azure, a royal crown of eight arches (five visible) Or, doubled Vert, above a sabre curved in fess point
to the dexter Argent, hilted and pummeled Or (for the Kingdom of Astrakhan).
III. Gules, an eagle displayed Argent, royally crowned proper, armed and membered Or
(for the Kingdom of Poland).
IV. Ermine, two sables rampant combatant Sable, supporting an ancient crown Or, and a bow in fess, with two
arrows saltirewise points downwards, all Gules (for the Kingdom of Siberia).
V. Or, a double-headed Byzantine eagle displayed Sable, twice royally crowned and armed Gold, charged on
the breast with an escutcheon: Azure, an Orthodox cross within a bordure, all Or (for the Kingdom of the Taurian Chersonesus - now
VI. Quarterly with enté en pointe and an inescutcheon (for the Caucasus):
1. Gules, between in sinister chief and dexter base two mullets of eight points, a horse in full gallop
all Argent (for Iberia).
2. Or, a volcano fumant Vert, pierced through with two arrows saltirewise points upwards Sable
3. Azure, between in chief and at either side three mullets of six points Argent, two arrows saltirewise points
upwards of the same, debruised by an inescutcheon Or, charged with an increscent Gules (for Kabarda).
4. Or, a lion rampant Gules, crowned proper (for Armenia).
5. Enté en pointe Or, a Chercassian warrior in complete armour Argent, habited Gules and wearing a fur
cloak Sable, holding a spear of the same on the dexter shoulder, and riding a horse in full gallop Sable (for the
Chercassian and Mountaineer Princes).
6. The inescutcheon: Or, an image of St. George Martyr the Victorious in complete armour Azure with a cross
on the breast, wearing a flying cloak Gules, and riding a horse in full gallop Sable, covered with a horse-cloth Gules, fringed Gold,
treading upon a crawling dragon Vert, winged Sable, eyed and langued Gules, whose head the rider is piercing through with a spear Gules
(for the Kingdom of Georgia).
VII. Tierced per pale and enté en pointe (for the united ancient Principal Russian Grand Duchies):
1. Azure, an image of St. Archangel Michael in complete armour with the wings inverted all Argent, holding in the dexter hand a sword enflamed proper, and in the sinister hand a shield Argent (for the Grand Duchy of Kiev).
2. Gules, a lion rampant guardant Or, crowned with an iron crown proper, holding in the dexter forepaw a long cross Argent (for the Grand Duchy of Vladimir).
3. Enté en pointe Argent, two bears statant erect combatant Sable, supporting a throne Or, cushioned Gules,
on which are placed a sceptre and a long cross saltirewise, both Or. On the back of the Throne is a triple candlestick Gold with three lighted candles proper. In a base Azure, two fish fesswise respectant naiant and counter-naiant Argent (for the Grand Duchy of Novgorod).
VIII. Gules, between eight roses Argent, barbed and seeded proper, a lion rampant Or, ducally crowned proper,
holding in the dexter vambraced forepaw a straight-bladed sword proper, hilted and pommeled Or, and resting the sinister forepaw on a curved
sabre proper, hilted and pommeled as the latter, the blade of which the lion is treading upon with the dexter hind paw
(for the Grand Duchy of Finland).
IX. Beneath all is placed a shield, ensigned with a royal crown proper, displaying the Ancestral Arms of His Imperial Majesty the Lord Emperor and Autocrat of All Russias. Namely: Per pale,
1. Argent, a griffin segreant Gules, holding a sword proper and a round shield Or, ensigned upon its upper
edge with an eaglet Sable, all within a bordure Sable, charged with eight lion's heads erased Or and Argent alternately
(for the House of Romanov).
2. Quarterly with enté en pointe and an inescutcheon.
i. Gules, a lion rampant Or, crowned proper, holding in the forepaws a long-handled axe of St. Olaf Argent,
handled Or (for Norway);
ii. Or, two lions passant Azure (for Schleswig);
iii. Gules, an inescutcheon per fess Argent and Gules, between three nettle leaves and as many passion
nails in pairle Argent (for Holstein);
iv. Gules, a swan Argent, beaked, membered and royally gorged Or (for Stormarn);
v. Enté en pointe: Gules, a knight in armour Or, on a horse Argent, brandishing a sword Argent, and with
a shield Azure, charged with a cross pattée Or (for Ditmarsen);
vi. Over all, an inescutcheon of pretence ensigned with a Duke's crown proper, namely: Per pale, a) Or, two
bars Gules (for Oldenburg); b) Azure, a cross pattée fitchy Or (for Delmenhorst).
The imperial robe of estate is semi circled above by six shields, displaying the coats of arms of the
Imperial Titular Provinces and Lands, namely:
I. The united coat of arms of the Principalities and Provinces of Great Russia. Twice per fess and twice per pale, with enté en pointe:
1. Argent, a stag trippant Gules, unguled and attired of twelve tynes Sable (for Nizhny
2. Argent, two arms vested Gules, issuant from either side of the shield out of clouds Azure, and holding in
the hands two spears in saltire Gules (for Yugora).
3. Or, a knyaz (prince) vested Vert, with a fur hat on, wearing a cloak and booted Gules, holding in the dexter hand a sword proper and in the sinister hand a scabbard Sable (for Ryazan).
4. Argent, a cannon Sable, its carriage and wheels Or, with perching on the fuse a "Paradise Bird" proper
5. Azure, a snow leopard Or, in chief issuant out of clouds Argent a dexter hand proper
6. Gules, a throne Or, cushioned Vert, on which is placed a royal crown proper
7. Argent, a bear passant erect guardant Sable, holding in the sinister forepaw a long-handled axe Or
8. Gules, a stag statant Argent, gorged Or (for Rostov Veliky).
9. Azure, two fish in saltire Argent, in chief a crescent of the same, in dexter chief a cross pommé Or
10. Enté en pointe: Sable, a fox Argent, langued and eyed Gules (for Udora).
II. The united coat of arms of the South-Western Provinces.
Tierced per pale and enté en pointe:
1. Gules, a cross formy Argent (for Volyn);
2. Azure, the sun in splendour accompanied in chief with a cross couped, all Or
3. Argent, an eagle crowned displayed Sable, holding behind the back in the sinister claws a long cross
tilted bendwise Or (for Chernigov).
III. The united coat of arms of the White Russia's and Lithuanian Provinces.
Quarterly with enté en pointe and an inescutcheon:
1. Per fess. i.Gules, an eagle displayed Argent. ii. Or, a knight in complete armour Azure (Pogonia - "Pursuit"),
holding a sword proper and a shield Argent, charged with an Orthodox cross Gules, riding a Horse Sable, covered with a three-tailed horse-cloth
of the fourth, fringed of the field (for Belostock).
2. Or, a Bear statant erect Sable, langued and eyed Gules (for Samogitia).
3. Argent, a knight in complete armour Sable (Pogonia - "Pursuit"), holding a scimitar proper and a circular
shield Gules, charged with an Orthodox cross Argent, riding a horse Sable, bridled Argent and Gules (for Polotsk).
4. Gules, a knight in complete armour Argent (Pogonia - "Pursuit"), holding a sword and a round shield of
the same, charged with an Orthodox cross Gules, riding a horse Argent, saddled Gules, covered with a three-tailed horse-cloth Or, fringed
Azure (for Vitebsk).
5. Enté en pointe: Argent, a wolf passant reguardant Gules (for Mstislav).
6. The inescutcheon: Gules, a knight in complete armour Argent (Pogonia - "Pursuit"), holding a sword and
a shield of the same, charged with an Orthodox cross Gules, riding a horse Argent, covered with a three-tailed horse-cloth of the field,
fringed Or (for the Grand Duchy of Lithuania).
IV. The united coat of arms of the Baltic Provinces.
1. Or, three lions passant Azure (for Estland)
2. Gules, a griffin segreant Argent, holding a sword Or, and charged on his breast with a cypher
(Peter the Second, Emperor of All Russias) Gules, ensigned with an imperial crown
3. Quarterly, i and iv: Argent, a lion rampant crowned Gules (for Kurland). ii and iii: Azure, issuant from
the side a demi stag trippant ducally crowned, attired of twelve tynes, Argent; the figures in the 1st and 3rd quarters being contourné
4. Gules, two arms embowed vambraced combatant Argent, each holding in the hand a scimitar proper, with
in chief a crown Or (for Korelia).
V. The united coat of arms of the North-Eastern Provinces.
Quarterly, with an inescutcheon:
1. Or, an arm vested Gules, issuant from the sinister side out of clouds Azure, holding a bow and an arrow
in full draught, with in dexter chief a cross pommé, all Gules (for Vyatka, presently: Kirov).
2. Vert, an Agnus Dei Argent carrying a gonfannon Gules, shafted Or, charged with a cross Argent
3. Argent, a fox passant Sable, langued and eyed Gules (for Obdora).
4. Vert, a savage wreathed with oak foliage both about the temples and loins, and holding a club Argent
on the dexter shoulder (for Kondia).
5. The inescutcheon: Gules, a bear passant Argent, carrying on the back a book of the Gospel Or, ensigned with
a cross formy rayonnant of four rays Argent (for Perm).
VI. Or, a unicorn passant Sable, armed, langued and eyed Gules (for Turkestan).
©Translation into English by
Commander Valery Yegorov, Russia, 1991.
Commander Valery Yegorov, St Andrew Principal Herald Master of the Russian College
of Heraldry (Collegium Heraldicum Russiae), did the first in history
translation of this blazon from Russian into English in 1991. This
translation was for the first time published in the Russian heraldic
magazine Gerboved, number One, 1992, on pages 77- 82.
The story of the creation of the first post- revolutionary full colour rendition
of the Greater Coat of Arms of the Russian Empire painted by Commander Valery Yegorov in 1983,
can be read HERE.