The Russian College of Heraldry (Collegium Heraldicum Russiae)
The Russian College of Heraldry was re-established in April 1991 under the High Patronage of His Imperial Highness, The Grand Duke of Russia Vladimir Kirillovich in his capacity as Head of the Imperial House of Romanov. Up until his death in 1992, the Grand Duke supported the aims of the College, its' re-establishment as an Imperial College of Arms and as well the renaissance of Russian heraldry.
Although the Russian nobility had used Arms, seals and banners since time immemorial, Russian heraldry only became standardised and registered as recently as 1722. Czar Peter the Great established the first Imperial College of Arms (Geroldia) and modelled it after the French system. After the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, all forms of Imperial heraldry were removed, defaced or destroyed and a completely new and unique system of heraldic expression came into being featuring the communist hammer and sickle.
Now re-established, the Russian College of Heraldry is legally registered with the Russian Ministry of Justice as the sole legal body legitimately entitled to "Create, produce, register and publish grants of arms for individuals and corporations". Russia also has a State Heraldic Service which is based in Saint Petersburg, but this organisation is a government department responsible only for the design and manufacture of government heraldry.
The CHR offers a number of heraldic services to honourable Christian gentlemen/women, which include:
1 . The registration and publication of legitimate grants of arms that have been bestowed by an officially recognised Officer of Arms from any National Heraldry Office.
2 . The registration and publication of previously unregistered arms which have been borne by families over an extended period of time.
3 . The creation of a grant of arms to worthy individuals who are desirous of obtaining a legitimate 'Coat of Arms', done in the ancient Russian style, following the laws and traditions of Russian heraldry.
The applicant should first write to the CHR and apply for a personal grant of arms. In due course the CHR will request from the applicant a copy of their CV, two passport sized photographs, a sketch of the considered achievement and a description of the blazon (design). The CHR will then create a line drawing of the Arms which is heraldically correct, and make alterations to the achievement until such time as the applicant is satisfied with the style and design. The CHR will then produce an impressively emblazoned 'Diploma Armorum' which is hand painted and executed in the fine Russian style. Also issued is a certificate of registration with the text done in either old Russian, Latin or English; whichever the applicant prefers. Also included is an exquisite line drawing for use as a letterhead master for personalising the Armigers stationary. The diploma and certificate are currently being produced on (British sized) A4 parchment paper which is laminated with plastic film for protection. At this time in history it has been found to be the best size to mail safely out of Russia.
The current cost of any of the above services is at this time very modest and all fees and payments assist with the revival of Russian heraldry and traditions. Due to problems experienced with pilfering of mail in Russia SEND NO MONEY; the applicant simply pays when requested into the electronic banking system at any branch of his local bank.
For more information on the Russian College of Heraldry please feel free to contact the writer at: firstname.lastname@example.org and remember that a 'Coat of Arms' is the one sure heirloom and family treasure that you can leave to your descendants that will remain with them in perpetuity and will always be cherished and remembered with honour. A grant of arms from the Russian College of Heraldry is as legitimate as a grant from any other College of Arms, but with the advantage of being executed in less than half of the time and (currently) at a fraction of the cost. With Russia's circumstances being what they are at the present time this is a 'window of opportunity' for any private individual, no matter what their nationality, who desires a grant of arms to realise that ambition.
or write to the College personally:
COLLEGIUM HERALDICUM RUSSIAE
Commander Valery Yegorov GCStS
Sanatorium-5, Monino, Moskovska
obl., 141152, RUSSIA.
Copyright © 1997 Michael Subritzky-Kusza. All rights reserved. Used by permission.