Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870 - 1924) (Original Death Mask)



2015-06-26 11:48:42

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870 - 1924) (Original Death Mask)

One of 14 known original death masks, the first to enter the market for 21 years

Masks of deceased persons are part of traditions in many countries.

A death mask is a wax or plaster cast made of a person's face following death.

Death masks are said to have originated in ancient Egypt where casts were used as models for carving portraits of the recently deceased.

They were also laid over the 'face' of a mummified body as it was believed they would guard the soul from evil spirits on its way to the afterworld.

This death mask has a well documented history...

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin died aged 53 after sufferinga series ofstrokes at his home in Gorki.

Well-known sculptor Sergey Merkurov was asked to produce the death masks.

Merkurov had studied under Auguste Rodin in Paris and was one of Russia's most famous artists.

Hewas considered the greatest Soviet master of post-mortem masks.

As a sculptorMerkurov was also responsible for three of the biggest monuments of Joseph Stalin.

The famous statue of Lenin that stood in Lenin Square was also the work of Merkurov.

The death masks were made shortly after Lenin passed away on January 21, 1924, at 6.50pm.

We understand that only 14 such masks, three original casts and 11 subsequent casts (from the three original casts), were ever made by Merkurov.

This death mask is one of the 14 made by Merkurov.

The majority ofMerkurov's masks remain in Museums in the former Soviet Union.

One is in the Mausoleum of V. I. Lenin within the grounds of the Kremlin, in Moscow.

Another is acknowledged to be the most viewed exhibit at St. Petersburg's State Museum of Political History of Russia.

One ofMerkurov's firstthree original casts isheld in the Museum of Sergey Merkurov in Armenia.

The death mask we hold in stock was sold by a relative of Merkurov to the internationally known Russian bibliophile and collector Sasha Lurye.

The death mask is in excellent condition other than minor chipping to the eyebrows, which could be easily restored.

The date of the casting and the name of the sculptor are engraved at the base.

The reverse of the mask bears turn-of-the-century rusted nails embedded in the plaster mould suggesting this may be one of the three original castings.

A previous Lenin death mask was auctioned by Phillips in London with an estimate of $12,500 in November 1989.

Andsince 1989 Russia's wealth and collectibles markets have exploded.

We believe this to be the first original death mask to reach the market in 21 years.

It isthe greatestreminderof the firstHead of Stateof the Soviet Unionand a superb piece of Russian History.

For Sale: 35,000 ($57,000)

For further information please emailinfo@paulfrasercollectibles.com or telephone +44 (0) 117 933 9500

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