Soviet Art

USSR Culture

Industry of Socialism precious mosaic map of USSR

Industry of Socialism precious mosaic map of USSR

RSFSR in precious stones. Industry of Socialism precious mosaic map of USSR. Located in the Central Research Geological Prospecting Museum of Academician FN Chernyshev, St. Petersburg, Russia

Industry of Socialism precious mosaic map of USSR

This magnificent mosaic is a monumental monument of the imperial style of the times of the Soviet Union. Created in 1937 for a fantastic period of 5 months, the map and the arms of 11 union republics appeared at international exhibitions in Paris and New York. By creating a giant mosaic panel of gems, which would reflect all the victories of the Social Industry, the authorities decided to celebrate the Communist Party of the USSR on the 20th anniversary of October. In fact, this idea belonged to G. K. Ordzhonikidze, People’s Commissar of Heavy Industry of the USSR.
Laid out from thousands of precious and semiprecious stones, the map first shone in 1937 at the World Exhibition in Paris. It amazed the imagination of Europeans along with the gigantic monument of “Worker and Collective Farmer”.
In particular, the mountains on the map are from jasper, and next to them are lazurite seas and rivers, cities are solid rubies. All in full geographical accordance with the original.
However, tThe most expensive stones – emeralds – marked the objects of industry. Impressive is not only the art of artists who created a panel of gems, but also the cost of the work. In the 1940s, the map, taken to an exhibition in New York, was insured for $ 137 million. And it’s hard to imagine how many panels can cost today.

Ruby star with diamonds for the capital of the Soviet Union - Moscow

Ruby star with diamonds for the capital of the Soviet Union – Moscow

In particular, the mosaic area is 27 square meters, the map consists of 50 thousand fragments. Meanwhile, to transport it to the World Exhibition, it was sorted out into 96 fragments, divided strictly according to parallels and meridians. All shades of jasper strictly repeat mountains, and lapis lazuli – the seas and rivers.

The mosaic set made of 45 000 plates of jasper, lapis lazuli, amazonite and rhodonite, originally glued to the textolite base. Cities and towns – marked by gilded silver stars with inserts of artificial rubies. For the lines of parallels, meridians, railways and all geographical names used platinized silver. In the overlaid decor cut faceted aquamarines, artificial rubies, topazes, phenakites, rock crystal, and noble opal.

A visiting card of the times of the USSR, a work of art that reminds us of the former greatness of the Soviet Union. After so many years, the wall mosaic continues to please our eyes, and remind us of long gone years, and of childhood.

Until 1982 the map was exhibited in the Hermitage. To save the map restorers have developed a unique method of transferring fragments of panels to a new foundation. And next to the map there is another magnificent example of stone cutting art – the coat of arms of the USSR. The technique of execution: Florentine and Russian mosaic, stone carving, cutting, jewelry works, gilding, and stucco work. Materials: ornamental and jewelry stones, silver, aluminum, brass, textolite. The diameter is 130 cm. Weight – 200 kg.

Industry of Socialism precious mosaic map of USSR