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In October 1604, this chariot was presented to Tsar Boris Godunov by Thomas Smith, the English ambassador to Muscovy.
It was packed and transported from London via the Arctic Sea to Archangel.
The 11 week journey by land from Archangel to Moscow is shown on this 1562 English map.
It is the earliest surviving printed map of Muscovy.
The coach was assembled in Moscow and driven into the Kremlin.
James I sent his ambassador Thomas Smith to present the gift.
Thomas Smith was a wealthy merchant descended from one of the founders of the Muscovy Company.
The chariot was made in Smithfield, London, by skilled blacksmiths, wheelwrights, carvers, painters and upholsterers.
At the back are the supporters of the royal coat of arms of England.
The lion and the unicorn (now missing its horn).
The double headed eagle represents the Imperial Arms of Muscovy and St George, the patron saint of Moscow.
The undercarriage is constructed like a farm wagon.
The wheels are later 17th-century replacements.
The construction is held together with iron elements, painted and gilded.
The carvings show Muscovite victories.
On the front, Russian Orthodox Christians accompany the Tsar’s chariot in triumphant procession.
On the back, Orthodox Christians fight the Muslim Tatars.
The scenes probably represent victories at Kazan in 1552, and Khan Kazy-Giray in 1591.
The Tatars bear crescent standards and wear turbans.
Scenes of boar, tiger and lion hunts decorate the sides.
Painted scenes show hunting and fishing in rural landscapes.
The upholstered seat, intended for the Tsar and Tsarina of Muscovy, was transferred from another vehicle in the late 17th century.
The canopy posts are covered in cut velvet and fixed with silver headed nails.
The canopy is embroidered in pearls with the Imperial eagle and St George and the Dragon.
An etching by John Dunstall shows a similar coach drawn by six horses.
The coachman is dressed in livery.
The passengers are in mid 17th century dress.
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