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Section: Michael Medvedev, GHA[R] chairman

Counts Stroganov [Stroganoff]

Artist: Michael Medvedev, GHA[R]

The commercial and military expeditions, organised by the family of Stroganov (alias Strogonov) had permitted Russia to develop vast lands on both side of the Ural mountain hedge. In 1725, these merits had been immortalized in tinctures, when Empress Catherine I issued a patent confirming the baronial title of the Stroganovs, three years earlier granted by Peter I.

The coat of arms, invented for the new Barons by the count Francisco Santi, the «father of Russian official heraldry», points to the fur treasures of Siberia (vair), the waterways (the bend wavy) and the battles (Santi was planning to charge the bend with a sabre, but finally replaced it with three lance heads). The bear's head, borrowed from the coat of arms of Principality of Perm, and the sables from the coat of arms of Siberia serve as a sign of fidelity to the Sovereign in his Permian and Siberian dominions.

In XVIII and XIX centuries, the Stroganovs have been created Counts of the Holy Roman and Russian Empires. As a consequence, three new versions of the Stroganovs coat of arms were created, the original one being changed and augmented in different ways.

The version shown here is the latest, conferred by Nicolas I upon the Senior Chamberlain to H.I.M. Grigory Aleksandrovich Stroganov, along with a title of Count; however, this coat of arms was borne mostly by the cadet lines of Count Grigory's posterity, including his grandson and namesake, the Master of the Horse to H.I.M. Count Grigory Aleksandrovich Stroganov, who married the eldest daughter of Emperor Nicolas I, Grand Duchess Mary. Meanwhile the senior line has inherited a family entailed estate, together with the rights to an earlier title and arms of another family branch. The side crests remind that the Stroganovs had implemented not only the conquest, but also the enlightenment of the Ural and Siberian lands. The motto says: «I will provide the Motherland with riches, and myself with a name».

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© 2006 The.Heraldry.Ru / M. Medvedev