Mass-produced celebrations

From CCA.54

This paper bag is one of the most unlikely of the ephemeral objects in the Cooke Collection to have survived to this day. Designed for practical use and then disposal, it is an object that few other than Cooke would have valued beyond its initial service. ‘Happy Holiday!’ it says towards its base. The occasion isn’t specified but the flowers which appear on both sides of the bag suggest it might have been produced with International Women’s Day in mind: a holiday which, to this day in Russia, sees vast queues of men outside florists from early morning.

Soviet badges were produced in enormous quantities and are popular among collectors today. From top to bottom, the badges shown here celebrate: the 1975 International Women’s Year, Moscow State University, Kiev (in Ukrainian, as here, Kyiv), and the extraordinary 1975 Soiuz-Apollo meeting of Soviet and United States astronauts in space.

The Kiev pin specifically celebrates the city’s status as a Hero City, one of twelve Soviet cities honoured for their resilience during World War Two. In total, the city was awarded two Orders of Lenin (below) and one Gold Star (hanging to the left).

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