Incredibly rare original Vladimir Lenin death mask, made, signed, and dated by renowned sculptor Sergei Merkurov. Mask measures 15″ wide, 14″ deep and 9″ high. This mask was made shortly after Lenin’s death on January 21, 1924, at 6:50 pm in his residence in Gorki, where the artist was allowed to make three molds. Created through a delicate process of pouring plaster over the deceased’s face with a thread placed down the middle for easy removal after drying, Merkurov’s masks are widely considered among the finest in existence, capturing the most minute details of his subjects’ final features. In fine condition, with an untouched patina and some minor chipping to the prominent eyebrows, which could be restored. While many of his masks—including those of Tolstoy, Gorky, and another Lenin—are housed at his museum in the Armenian city of Gyumri, this one has remained in private hands since its creation; it was sold by a relative of Merkurov to internationally known Russian collector Sasha Lurye, then sold to the current owner. An important and captivating piece, both in artistic and historical perspective. RR Auction COA.