Shropshire

Bronze cast of Stalin's death mask goes for £3,600 at auction

A rare cast of the death mask of the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin has been sold to an anonymous bidder for £3,600 at an auction in Shropshire.

The cast was taken in bronze from the original plaster death mask by an art dealer who was visiting Moscow in 1990.

Richard Westwood-Brookes, from Church Stretton-based auction house Mullock's, said: "There are, we believe, only two of these in the West."

The lot included casts of Stalin's right hand and his withered left hand.

Mr Westwood-Brookes said that in official portraits the Soviet dictator always hid this physical deformity.

He said: "The casts that we have here show that his hand was a little withered thing, so you are seeing Stalin as he really was."

The guide price for the death mask of Stalin, who died in 1953, had been between £3,000 and £5,000.

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