A Rare Communist & Soviet Terracotta Plaque

CommunistPlaque1One of the aspects I love about my job the most is finding objects I love but don’t know anything about. It’s almost like a challenge – the piece taunts and teases me. Who am I? Where was I made? Who designed and produced me? When? What do I mean? Often looking at them periodically over a long period of time yields something I hadn’t spotted or considered, or else I stumble across something that helps as I go about my job and daily life. Although there’s a huge amount of rubbish to be found on the internet, sometimes just posting something and ‘putting it out there’, or scanning through Google Images helps too. Even the smallest, seemingly insignificant lead can yield something. You just need to know where to start or, more precisely, where to start looking.
My latest acquisition is this striking terracotta plaque, showing two men, one crouching and one standing above him holding sheaves of paper and with an eagle perched on his shoulder.
The Communist star can be seen on the right hand side, and they stand in front of a curving, almost cloud-like background. Highly stylised, and typical of the Socialist-Realist style of painting and sculpture, each element is picked out in high relief. The entire effect reminds me somewhat of a bronze public monument from a city such as Moscow, Warsaw or Budapest intended to instill and inspire pride for the workers.
CommunistPlaqueMarkMeasuring just over 15.75in (40cm) long, the plaque also bears two impressed marks, which are shown here. The larger mark may be related to the subject matter, or may be a factory mark. The smaller mark, which looks like a monogram, is most probably that of the sculptor or designer.
CommunistPlaqueMark2The dealer I bought it from had acquired it in an auction at Christies in the 1980s, but had lost the information that came with it in the meantime. Sadly, it’s too long for Christies to have easily accessible records, and I don’t even know what year or or what type of sale it was sold in. It was clearly made in a mould, so it’s likely that other examples exist, but that’s not necessarily the case as only one example may have been taken from the mould.
Do you recognise it? Do you recognise the marks? If you do, I’d be delighted if you could share your knowledge and contact me by clicking here.

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