The Order of Saint Anne
Compiled and Researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska

The Order of Saint Anne was officially instituted in 1797, in Russia, at the time of the cornation of Paul I. The order had been founded sixty-two years before (in 1735) by Paul's grandfather, Karl Friedrich of Schlesweig-Holstein, in honor of Anna Petrovna, the daughter of Peter the Great. From the early 1740's when Crown Prince Karl Peter Ulrich of Holstein, the future Peter II of Russia, came to Russia and it was presented to Russan subjects. The order's motto was "To those who love justice, piety, and faith."

The Order of St. Anne was given for great deeds in civil service and labor. This service was to benefit the public at large in some way. The Order had three classes and no restrictions were made as to the number of holders. It was a red enameled cross with gold open-work ornamentation at the corners and an image of St. Anne was in the center, with a star and red ribbon with yellow borders. Later on it had a fourth classification for junior officers of the army and the navy. This version was a round medal with a crown and a red cross on top. It was generally fastened to the hilt of a sword or saber. It was enscribed with the words: "For Courage."

The earliest crosses had red glass and diamonds in the openwork, but later versions had red enamel. Diamond encrusted crosses were exclusively for foreigners. In 1829, the first and second classes were to include the imperial crown. The crown was attached to the upper arm of the cross, as shown above. The crown improved the look and prestige of the order. The Order of St. Anne (unlike others) is worn on the right side of the chest.

On August 5, 1855, the addition of the crossed swords was added to the cross. (see above)


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