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Autumn 2006: Migrating Merlettes

Author: The.Heraldry.Ru / Publication date: 2007-10-13

Autumn 2006: Migrating MerlettesMarquis Ivan Ivanovich de Traversay (gallice, Jean-Baptiste Francois Prevost de Sansac, marquis de Traversay; 1754-1830) was a Russian Admiral, the Minister of the Navy and a Member of the State Council.

His bookplate displays the ancient noble arms of the Prevosts de Sansac (Argent two bars Sable between six merlettes [beakless “continental martlets”] – three, two and one – of the same; the birds are placed directly upon the bars and the champagne is emblazoned by an obvious artist’s error). These arms were normally borne by the numerous branches of this lineage (known since the 14th century) without any brisure.

The shield is adorned with a princely-looking robe under a coronet of an untitled Russian noble, not a Marquis. Among the orders, the precedence is given to the Russian crosses of St. Alexander (centre), St. Vladimir (still ranked at this time as inferior to St. Alexander) and St. Anne. On the sides appear the member’s badge of the Society of Cincinnati and the Knight Cross of St. Louis. The bookplate was probably commissioned after 1807 (when the Marquis was created a Knight of St. Vladimir), maybe after 1811 (when he was awarded with St. Alexander’s insignia with diamonds) and before the armiger was created a Knight of Swedish Order of the Sword (1816). Later the Marquis was admitted to the supreme Russian order – that of St. Andrew (1821), and finally was awarded with the 4th class cross of St. George (1828).

The insignia of the rank consist of two anchors and two Admiral’s flags (identical to the Russian navy flag, although in this case the saltires are not shown properly).

© 2006 The.Heraldry.Ru / M. Medvedev