Bronze death mask of Stalin sold in Britain

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 09:56

London: A bronze cast from Joseph Stalin`s
death mask, one of only 12 made after the Soviet dictator`s death in 1953, was sold in Britain Wednesday for GBP 4,400 (USD 6,860), the auction house said.

The mask and accompanying bronze casts of Stalin`s hands
-- the left one withered -- had been estimated to sell at Between GBP3,000 and GBP5,000. The final price of GBP4,400 includes the buyer`s premium, Mullock`s auctioneers said.
"It`s an interesting and unusual item. There were lots of
telephone bids and Internet interest," said Richard
Westwood-Brookes, historical documents expert at Mullock`s,
adding that it went to a private telephone bidder in Britain.

Originally brought to the West by art dealer James Birch,
who purchased it in Moscow in 1990, the bronze death mask
shows Stalin`s hair swept back from his forehead and clearly
outlines his famous moustache.

Ten of the bronzes made after the dictator`s death are
thought to be in Russia, with the 11th held in a private
collection in London following its sale at Sotheby`s auction
house in the early 1990s, Westwood-Brookes said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 09:56
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