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Section: Old Russian Heraldic Art

The Arms of the Princes Shakhovskoy-Glebov-Streshnyov by Alexander Fadeyev (1860's)


Alexander Alexandrovich Fadeyev was one of the greatest talents in the whole Russian heraldic art. For more than three decades (since 1857) he was a heraldic artist of the Armorial Section of the Governing Senate’s Heraldry Office Department. The achievement of Princes Shakhovskoy-Glebov-Streshnyov is among those hundreds of coats-of-arms painted by Fadeyev for the official General Armorial.

This particular branch of the Shakhovskoy family is extinct; other branches continue to bear the plain arms of the family.

The complicated achievement is interesting for several reasons. The princely coat of the Shakhovskoy lineage (as confirmed by a grant at the end of the 18th century: see GA II, 6) consists of territorial arms of the Grand Duchies Kiev and Smolensk and (overall) the [Grand] Duchy of Yaroslavl, which are represented with minor differences. On being re-granted with additional quarterings, the territorial elements were modified to follow the current provincial symbols.

The conjoined arms of the Glebov and Streshnyov lineages (granted earlier, GA VII, 9, and only partly based on the separate coats granted to the separate families of these names: see Glebovs' - GA V, 27 and Streshnyovs' - GA II, 61) were revised quite radically as well.

It worth mentioning that the Glebovs descended from a Genovese immigrant, 'Oblaguinya', and shared the common symbolism with other Oblaguinides; the Streshnyovs evoked the Polish roots by bearing the Polish 'clan arms' named Pobog.

The old Russian helmets (so-called Jericho caps), introduced by Koehne for the ancient indigenous nobility, are shewn here both in the princely version (Argent adorned Or) and the version for the untitled nobles (Az. adorned Argent). The amalgamation of the names allowed the Princes Shakhovskoy-Glebov-Streshnyov to use two princely helmets; most likely the "modest" features of the sinister helmet had to stress the self-standing importance of the Glebov and Streshnyov families.

The supporters are intended to represent the Varangan warriors, although their disguise is obviously anachronistic.

The robe is substituted with a pavilion, which in this particular case seems to be an artist's liberty, granted by oversight without implying any special position or privilege of the armiger.

In fact, this is not the only Russian case of granting a symbol of sovereign rank to a non-dynastic noble. The Yourievsky case may be ambiguous, but there were also a pavilion confirmed for the Princes Yablonowski (see above dexter) within the autonomous Polish jurisdiction, and the golden helmets granted to the Barons Weissmann v. Weissenstein (see above sinister) and to the Princes Orlov (GA, XII, 10; see below), the latters' helmet having an open visor, which looks pretty regal within the continental context.

The Orlovs’ golden open-vizored helmet, in its turn, aped the similar helmet granted long ago to the Prince Platon Zubov (alias Subow). The latter was created in 1796 a Serene Prince of the HRE and got a HRE grant of arms (see below) with splendid attributes designed to “equalize” the grantee to the ruling Princes. Some of these attributes, including a golden open-vizored helmet, were confirmed for the Prince in Russia (GA, VI, 4).

© 2006 The.Heraldry.Ru / M. Medvedev