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.