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The present coat of arms belongs to the oldest branch of the Tolstoy family, from which the great writer Lev Nicholaevich (1828-1910) is descended, but no features can link it to a particular member of the family. Pyotr Andreevich Tolstoy (1645-1729), the first Count Tolstoy, was awarded the title by Catherine I. One part of the shield, with a column below a coronet, immortalizes the service of the Pyotr Tolstoy to Peter I. In 1717, Tolstoy completed a successful mission to Naples to recover the tsarevich Alexei, who had fled abroad against the tsar's will and was under the protection of a foreign potentate.