How to Cite
Ugleva, N. V. (2021). Attribution of the Throne Chairs of Tsars Boris Godunov and Mikhail Romanov in the 19th–21st Centuries: Historical and Art Historical Aspects. Heritage of Centuries, (1), 100-108.
Museion: Exhibitions, Funds, Collections

Attribution of the Throne Chairs of Tsars Boris Godunov and Mikhail Romanov in the 19th–21st Centuries: Historical and Art Historical Aspects

  • © Ugleva Natalia V. Cand. Sci. (Museology, Conservation and Restoration of Historical and Cultural Objects), State Historical Museum, Moscow, Russian Federation


The article examines two ancient throne chairs of Russian monarchs from the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums: the chair of Tsar Boris Godunov, which is believed to have been received at the beginning of the 17th century as part of the ambassadorial gifts from Shah Abbas I, and the chair which researchers associate with the name of Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich. The aim of the article is a comprehensive study of these objects based not only on their external description, but also on the identification of its structure, parts hidden by metal and woven coatings. In addition, for the first time, the author considers the chairs as pieces of furniture art, trying to “embed” them into the line of the development of artistic styles. In the course of the research, the method of description and analysis of artistic and technical methods of making artifacts, methods of comparative analysis and interpretation of historical sources were applied. The materials of the study were archival documents, published sources and the results of research by Russian historians and museologists. Various historical evidence about the investigated artifacts and views on their dating, reflected in documents and research works, is analyzed. The author compiled descriptions of the throne chairs and made assumptions about the possibility of a later change in their appearance. The analysis of the form and decor made it possible to attribute the throne chair of Tsar Boris Godunov as an example of a Persian work of the 15th–16th centuries; the use of European heritage is clearly traced in the creation of its artistic image. The attribution of the chair of Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich cannot be considered final, because today there are several versions of it (a sample of the work of the Moscow Kremlin Workshops of the 17th century, precious plates of Iranian production of, presumably, the 16th century were used in its decoration; Iran, Isfahan, second half of the 16th century (?); work of Iranian court masters of the first third of the 17th century). This throne chair presumably has a pair – the chair of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich: outwardly these objects are remarkably similar and look like a set, in which, with the general logic of shaping, only the manner of decoration is somewhat different. The visual analysis of the monument allows classifying it as a sample of Persian work, made under the influence of the Renaissance art, which spread from Italy to Europe in the 15th–16th centuries. The need to study these rarities with the use of modern technologies and research methods is emphasized.

Keywords: throne chairs, Tsar Boris Godunov, Tsar Mikhail Romanov, attribution, State Historical Museum, Moscow