Ivan was the crown prince of Vasili III, the Rurikid ruler of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, and was appointed Grand Prince at three years-old after his father’s death. A group of reformers, united around the young Ivan, declared him Tsar in 1547 at the age of sixteen, establishing the Tsardom of Russia with Moscow as the predominant state.

By being crowned Tsar, Ivan was sending a message to the world and to Russia, he was now the only supreme ruler of the country, and his will was not to be questioned. The new title not only secured the throne, but it also granted Ivan a new dimension of power, one intimately tied to religion.

The throne of Tsar Ivan IV The Terrible of Russia. / Image source

The most ancient ceremonial throne of Russia of the 16th century is an example of the Renaissance culture. It is shaped as a chair and adorned with ivory and walrus bone.

Decorative scenes include images from Greek mythology and the Old Testament. Plates with King David’s life should be mentioned particularly as King David had been worshiped in Russia. On the occasion of the coronation of Emperor Alexander II, the throne was decorated with a gilded silver two-headed eagle.

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