— Wladyslaw Egor Pio-Ulski – Nadvórnyy sovétnik

George said “My grandfather, Wladyslaw Egor (Vladislav-Grigorii) Pio-Ulski, held the rank of «Nadvoronogo Sovetnika» (which was Imperial Court Councillor). According to Balia, this was the seventh step rank from the top.”

Indeed it was the 7th rank from the top, according to the Russian Wiki site …

Надворный советник (Nadvórnyy sovétnik / Court Counselor)
The court counselor – a civil rite VII class in the Table of Ranks in Russia. MEET ranks of lieutenant colonel in the army , troop sergeant at the Cossacks and the captain II rank . Official appeal: “Your honor”.  Signs of the rank differences were double-lumen tabs or straps with three stars.
Until 1745 this office belonged to Class VIII, and later – to VII. Initially, the person promoted to this rank automatically received hereditary nobility ; after the reform of 1856 – only a private. Since 1803 , this rank can assign directors of departments of ministries and provincial authorities ( governors , governors , governors-general ). Since the XIX century, all persons possessing a scientific degree of the doctor or the academic rank of professor , will automatically receive this rank. This led to the fact that most of the outstanding Russian scholars of that time received hereditary nobility.
Rank name is derived from an adviser so-called “trial of Court” . Despite the fact that in 1726 the courts were abolished, the rank existed before the abolition of ranks, ranks and titles of the Russian Empire, which took place on November 8 1917 the year.

This photograph is of a Court Councillor, distinguished by the shoulder lapels …

I would imagine George’s grandfather would have had a similar uniform, although there was another version of the uniform which had the same lapels attached to the coat’s collar, as per this photo …

Nadvornyj_sovetnik****

There is a Russian Wiki page which shows the Table of Ranks but you can read the English translation, via Google, HERE.