The Great Imperial Crown made in 1762 for the coronation of Catherine the Great by the court jeweler J.Pauzie represents the height of creative imagination, lavish beauty and skilled workmanship. It is adorned with five thousand diamonds arranged in a splendid pattern of laurel wreaths and oak branches.
The gown is made of luxuriant silver silk, with lace sleeves and a lace bertha around the neckline. Embroidered golden eagles serve as the repeated pattern throughout with ermine trim at the hem. The blue sash, worn from the right shoulder to the waist, represents the Order of St. Andrew the First Called and is principally bestowed upon the royal family.
This portrait of Catherine II The Great of 1780, thought to be painted by Italian artist Stefano Torelli. Catherine is 51 years old here. Catherine wears a replica of ancient Russian gown prepared for masquerade. Catherine enjoyed Russian style in gowns as it made her body looked thinner but Russian court followed French fashion. The combination of Russian and European styles in great gowns of women appeared only with Catherine's grandson Nikolay I.