The Russian Gallery

 

Since 1936 the Royal Military Museum safeguards a truly exceptional collection: objects from Russian officers who fled Russia after the tsar’s downfall.

The impressive ensemble is exhibited in a gallery especially built for that purpose in 2001. The room contains items coming from former Russian regimental museums and possessions of officers with the imperial Guard (Cossacks, lancers, grenadiers,…), the Alexander institute or the page corps. The set-up presents luxurious weapons, silverware from the Cossack officers’ mess in Saint Petersburg and clothing items belonging to tsars Nicolas I (1825-1855), Alexander II (1855-1881) and Alexander III (1881-1894) or tsarevitch Alexis (1904-1918). Top pieces definitely are a series of silver trumpets and an impressive solid silver 53 kg punch bowl with hand-painted panels.

Some objects also tell the fascinating story of the Belgian auto-cannons who went to help out on the Russian front as they had become useless on the Western front. After a long journey taking them round the world, the men returned to Belgium in 1918.