[MANIZER Matvey, after], Death Mask of Joseph Stalin.
Original bronze casts of the death mask and hands of Joseph Stalin (1879 – 1953), c. 38 x 2 cm (mask) and 21 x 2 cm (hands). Dark green patina, with a fastening device on the rear. Engraved signature in Russian and dated ‘5/III.1953’.
A very rare artefact, probably intended for an important Soviet recipient. There are very few examples of this relic in existence, especially those made from the original plaster cast by Matvey Manizer as in this case. The only other known bronze of Stalin’s face and hands at the time of his death is found in the Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia, Stalin’s birthplace. These bronzes are most likely copies of a set of original plaster casts, today in the KGB Museum in Moscow, and believed to be the only ones in existence.