Who is depicted on the coat of arms of Irkutsk?
Who do you think is depicted on the coat of arms of Irkutsk? Marten, leopard, tiger, panther, sable? Here is his official image at the beginning of the post.
In fact, there is quite a complicated story. At first, the beast was supposed to be one, then by mistake they assigned another beast, but they only added a tail from it to the previous one. And then they did not change anything and left as is.
Here are the details ...
In 1642, when Irkutsk did not exist yet, the figure, described as “the leopard will take out the sable” (that is, the “leopard caught the sable”), appeared on the seal of the Yakutsk customs. This image was then transferred to the seal and the coat of arms of Irkutsk, which became the center of voivodship in the 1680s and acquired more importance than Yakutsk.On February 18, 1690, the seal and the coat of arms were granted to Irkutsk. The coat of arms consisted of “in the silver field of a babr running along green grass to the left side of the shield and having sables in its jaws”.
Babr, that is, the tiger, sometimes met in Transbaikalia, which in the XVIII century was part of the Irkutsk governorship, and sometimes west of Lake Baikal. Thus, the coat of arms of Irkutsk depicted the most unusual beast for European Russia and the sable, which gave the most valuable fur. This drawing is on the urban seals of Irkutsk in 1711 and 1743. Babyr (Turk.) - panther, that is, the black leopard. Perhaps that is why the later image of Babr on the coat of arms is black. (in Farsi, “babre” means “tiger”)
On April 21, 1785, the Russian cities were granted a chartered certificate of Empress Catherine II. The 28th article of this charter prescribed to each "city to have a coat of arms, approved by the hand of gubernatorial majesty, and this coat of arms, to use in all city affairs." October 26, 1790 Catherine II approved the emblems of the cities of the Irkutsk governorship and the coat of arms of Irkutsk. "A complete set of laws of the Russian Empire" gives the emblem with the following description (literally): "A running tiger is in a silver field of a shield, and a sable is in his company. This coat of arms is old. "
The old ones were called “coats of arms that had already been before,” which the herald's office gathered together. "Old" is easily recognizable by the absence in them of the emblem of the suburban town In most other emblems of the cities of the Irkutsk governorship, the figure of a Babra-tigr necessarily entered as an integral part and occupied the upper half of the heraldic shield. The value of the first Irkutsk coat of arms, as "old", increased significantly, it was actually reapproved.
In 1859, baron B. V. Köhne, who headed the Department of Heraldry, began a large-scale reform of Russian heraldry and vexillology. As is often the case, the reform, designed to eliminate the old mistakes, has caused new ones. Among the most well-known mistakes that we owe to her were the creation of the so-called “flag of the heraldic colors of the Russian Empire” and the renaming of the Irkutsk babr to beaver.
By a decree dated July 5, 1878, according to the draft of the Armorial Office, the Senate introduced 46 coats of arms of the provinces and regions, which were published in 1880 as a separate collection “Coats of arms of the provinces and regions of the Russian Empire”, in which the coat of arms of the Irkutsk province was described as follows: “In the silver shield there is a black running beaver with scarlet eyes, with a scarlet sable in its mouth.”
It should be noted that, to the credit of artists, there was not a single image of the Irkutsk coat of arms with a beaver gnawing a sable. However, since the decree remained a decree, a large beaver tail and webbed hind legs were drawn on the emblem of the babr on the coat of arms, creating a kind of new, mythical animal.
Coat of arms of Irkutsk (1878)
The reform of Kene introduced the rules of emblem decoration to Russian heraldry. In addition to the beaver, the Irkutsk coat of arms received a supplement in the form of golden oak leaves, connected by St. Andrew's ribbon, and was crowned with a crown.
It is in this form that the emblem was used as a symbol of the province and the city, and later the region. The pre-October postcards of Irkutsk with this emblem, its image on the pedestal of the monument to Emperor Alexander III, in the pages of the newspaper Irkutsk Provincial Gazette (1916), on the banner of the Irkutsk Insurance Fire Society (1909) are known.
In 1997, the State Heroldia under the President of Russia approved the emblems of the Irkutsk Region and the city of Irkutsk. As for the coat of arms of Irkutsk, Heroldia did not fully agree with the proposal of the City Duma. The appearance of the beaver at the request of the City Duma is changed and resembles the beast from the provincial coat of arms.Thus, the truth triumphed, and the description of the beaver left the coat of arms of Irkutsk. However, the image itself, which is a unique and distinctive landmark of the urban symbolism, was not changed, and the babr emblazoned with a beaver tail.