Daily luxuries

From CCA.54

The main focus of Catherine Cooke’s collection is early Soviet architecture and design, but much of the ephemera dates from her own trips to the Soviet Union in later decades. On display is a colourful array of packaging for everyday luxuries.

To the left are two boxes of cigarettes. The open packet is a box of Elite, the brand smoked by Chkalov and his crew during their 1937 flight over the North Pole to the United States. The other is Herzegovina Flora, a brand enjoyed by Stalin (and, apparently, foreigners—the words ‘Made in USSR’ appear in English on the back of the box). Along the top row is a box which contained Red Moscow perfume, two packages which still contain Georgian tea, and the packaging of ‘natural, high-quality coffee’.

The remainder of the items are confectionery. In the middle is a bar (long empty) of Golden Label chocolate, with wrappers from individual confectionaries around it. From the right, working clockwise: Avrora, a chocolate named after the naval ship famed for its role in the October Revolution, orange waffles, a Capital chocolate showing one of the Stalinist Seven Sisters, and finally and appropriately a confection called Tourist.

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