Ceremonial Vase
A gift to Joseph Stalin
from the members of the Komsomol and
youths of Vladimir region on the 30th
anniversary of the Komsomol (ALYCL), 1948
This is a classical specimen of Soviet ceremonial
vases, rising approximately as high as one
and a half meters. What we see here
is the scene of the Victory Day
fireworks over the city of Moscow,
embodied in diamond-cut crystal.
The crystal used in this item has copper
and selenium-ruby shades. This vase was
presented to Stalin by the workers of the
Gus-Khrustalny (Crystal Goose) factory.
Yevgeny Ivanovich Rogov (1918-1999).
He was born in 1918 in the town of Gus-Khrustalny.
His life and his art were strongly bonded with
the Gus-Khrustalny Crystal Factory. Right after
graduating from high school he joined the factory
as a paint shop apprentice. He served in the Soviet
army from 1939 to 1948 and fought the Great Patriotic
War (Russian part of WWII). After discharge from army
he returned to the craft of his life. Being an acclaimed
artist of the RSFSR and participant of many national
and international exhibitions, Yevgeny Rogov, was
undoubtedly one of the leading masters of glass work
in the Soviet Union.
At the Gus-Khrustalny Zavod (Goose Crystal Factory),
Y.I.Rogov and master jeweller V. M.Chununova, inspecting
the new crystal products, Vladimir region 02.1958
Usually all state orders and gifts were made by
the best artists working for Soviet factories.
This very item is one of the first art works
created by a young artist, Yevgeny Rogov. A
few years down the line he definitely became
one of the leading artists at the “Gus-Khrustalny”
factory, but back then his co-workers found the most
appropriate way of introducing the talented young
artist and the monumental gift in the accompanying
letter to Stalin. The letter’s text says that the
vase was created by young Rogov in collaboration
with the factory’s senior master and the company’s
young employees.
The various bowls, which constitute the vase, carry the following< inscriptions and images:
fireworks in front of the Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin, portrait of Stalin
wearing a Marshal’s uniform and the following inscription: “To our dear Comrade Stalin…”.
The base of the vase symbolizes the Kremlin wall displaying the image of the Soviet emblem
and emblems of the 16 member states which constituted the Soviet Union.
Collection custodian:
“Large ceremonial vases appeared in the USSR at
the end of the 1930s as one of the features of
the growing Stalin Empire. Such monumental items
required the highest level of craftsmanship, found
in Soviet porcelain and glass factories. These
enterprises continued to develop their artistic
techniques but were derailed during the revolution.
Following the end of the war the production of
memorial, ceremonial and souvenir vases restarted
with renewed vigour as the country ostentatiously
celebrated a multitude of important dates.”
Moscow State University on Lenin hills.
Moscow, 1950-1955
The porcelain and glass vases sometimes reached 2.5 meters and
were kind of an “image of the era”.
These vases symbolically comprised three components of the
“new society,” which was vigorously built by the Soviet state.
First, the people of the country were represented by the best of them;
that is the masters of the leading factories across the country.
Secondly, it was the selfless artistic labour, which the gift and
the inscriptions on it embodied. And finally the state’s authority
itself was represented by portraits of those to whom the monumental
gift was intended.