The name of the factory changed, but modeller Ivan Kuznetsov remained and continued to produce figurines more suited to the times. One appeared at Chiswick Auctions (25% buyer’s premium) on February 13.
Pioneer With A Drum was from a series portraying members of the young Communists’ organisation designed by Maria Strakhovskaya c.1925 for the factory, by now called the Leningrad Lomonosov Porcelain Factory (LFZ)*.
Standing 6in (15.5cm) tall, it bore the impressed hammer, sickle and cog mark and Cyrillic initials for Kuznetsov and was printed Made in Russia USSR.
Although part of the Soviet propaganda machine, these figures were made in limited numbers and were expensive luxury items out of reach of the average Russian. The impressed letters SPF indicated it was made for export.
The Chiswick figure had some minor restoration to the left leg and was estimated at £4000-6000. There was plenty of Russian interest before it sold online to a collector in Ukraine at £18,000.
* The St Petersburg factory went through as many name changes as the city itself. Since a 2005 vote by shareholders in the privatised Lomonosov Porcelain Factory it is now, again, the Imperial Porcelain Factory.