Collection of Decorations at Lviv Historical Museum
The collection of orders and medals at Lviv Historical Museum is one of the richest collections in Ukraine. It has about 6500 items. In the museum funds there are 90 gold and1483 silver artifacts and 4906 decorations and medals made of bronze, copper, tin, aluminum and other materials. Geography of the collection strikes by its breadth. The orders and medals of forty-seven countries are kept in the museum funds. The most widely represented are the items from such European countries as France (1307units), Poland (1106 units), Austria (809 items), Russia (736 units), Germany (736 items). The oldest exhibits were originated in the seventeenth century.
The pearl of the collection are the orders made of precious metals and decorated with enamel and precious stones. Some decorations are preserved in the original cases. A special place in the collection is devoted to the Order of St. Andrew. In Lviv Historical Museum collections the full set of honors is kept: star, cross, medal chain. Andrew's Order according its charter was the highest decoration in Russia.
In the collection of the Museum there are many other Russian decorations: the Order of Alexander Nevsky, the Order of St. Ann, St. Stanislav Order, the Order of St. Vladimir, the Military Order of the Holy Great-Martyr and the Triumphant George (from 2 to 4 degree).
An extremely interesting part of the Russian faleristics collection is the commemorative medals. Among them a series of medals devoted to ancient Rus history should be singled out. The idea of this collection creation belonged to Catherine II.
Talented medalists such as T. Ivanov, S. Yudin, J. Gass, J. Eger had been working over the collection. The museum funds store 81 medal series, made of bronze.
Great interest is raised by the orders and medals of Poland and Austria-Hungary, including, in particular, an extremely valuable order – the Order of the Golden Fleece.
Among Polish decorations a special attention is deserved by the Order of the White Eagle.
In the museum funds the Order of the White eagle with a blue ribbon is kept. So, it can be dated back to1709 and 1713. This circumstance makes the Order a unique exhibit of the collection.
Western European decoration collection of Lviv Historical Museum is distinguished by great variety.
The most valuable among them is the Bavarian Order of Saint Hubert, National Order of the Legion of Honor, the Royal Victorian Order, and the Greek Order of the Redeemer.
Among European commemorative medals we should mention a series of Vatican medals which in the chronological order illustrates the popes staying as the heads of the Catholic Church, beginning with Apostle Peter (33 - 67 AD) and ending with Pope Pius XI (1920-1939).
One of the oldest orders is the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, founded, according to the legend by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century. In the museum we keep the Order of 1847.
A separate page in the faleristics collection of LHM is the Eastern orders. The eastern orders system began to form much later than the European one - at the beginning of the 19th century. In the museum funds the Japanese (5 units), Chinese (5 items), Turkish (10 units), Iranian (2 items), Thai (2 units) and orders of other eastern countries are stored.
The Japanese Order of the Morning Sun was founded in 1868 by the Emperor Mutsuhito.
A considerable interest for studying the national history of commemorative medals has the medals of Austria-Hungary and Poland, the 19th – beginning of the 20th century.
The Soviet decoration system is represented by 453 monuments.
Fund collection "Orders - Medals" is one of the richest and most interesting collections in Ukraine.
Deep scientific researchers, greater opportunities of exhibiting for its reviewing by the visitors are waiting for this collection.