Retro Images of the Week: Soviet Commemorative Items

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Soviet Space Exploration Commemorative Items

Here at we are surrounded by all things retro. Not only the things we sell but original items and collections that decorate our offices. We thought it might be interesting each week to bring you a photo and information of an interesting, and maybe unusual, retro item we have kicking around. Please note these items are not for sale.
These are two examples of some of the many commemorative items the Russians produced to celebrate their success in the race into space. The item on the left of the photo is a paperweight, inscribed with the date of “1961”. This was produced to commemorate the first manned space flight on the Soviet rocket Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961. The Soviet cosmonaut onboard was Yuri Gagarin. The ‘path’ of the rocket is indicated by the wire and begins at the original point of departure in the USSR, which is marked by a star. The rocket has been launched and is orbiting the Earth. The actual flight lasted for nearly 90 minutes.

The clock on the right of the photo is a mechanically wound alarm clock. It was manufactured to commemorate the same event as the paperweight, and was most likely made exclusively for export, due to its decent quality. The stand is made of Bakelite and the clock case is made of aluminum. Although these items are available from time to time at online auctions, they are certainly not something you see everyday.