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Soviet Flags And Banners Discussion pertaining to Flags and Banners of the Soviet Union, Unit Flags and Socialist Competition Banners.

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Old 05-23-2013, 01:10 PM   #1
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New - Need advice

I am new to Soviet memorabilia collecting and I am very drawn to these large velvet Soviet banners I find on Ebay. Most of them appear to be some kind of award for a local business meeting a quota and they have Lenin's face on one side. I typically see them range from about $200-400, does this seem to be a fair price? Is Ebay a bad idea for buying these banners, if so is there a better place to purchase? Also, any general advice for purchasing/collecting soviet memorabilia in general is greatly appreciated. The time taken to read my post and offer help is greatly appreciated.

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Old 05-24-2013, 06:25 AM   #2
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Re: New - Need advice

The sphere of banners is giant. Not only in purpose but quality and period. Military or revolutionary banners from the civil war period are pretty much beyond the pocket of most enthusiasts. Labour banners are more easily available with their prices usually on a sliding scale with oldest being most expensive. With that the quality also slipped. The five year plans and VKLSM were the driving forces behind most of the post war award banners. Late examples can be picked up for almost nothing. Don't expect hand sewn items but screenprinted plastics.
For banners in the collection I have paid between $1 and $35. They vary from cotton to plastic, embroidered to printed and vary in size.
Warehouse fresh republic flags can usually be picked up for $20 for a metre width. Unflown in their thirty year existence.
Usually when you find "buy it now." Not bought it means severely overpriced.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:24 AM   #3
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Re: New - Need advice

I collect the labor banners only from Soviet Estonia, but notice some trends in banners for the other republics as well. The velvety and satiny banners are nice, avoid the plasticy or clothy banners. Those with the stitching done by hand or machine are nice, avoid anything that is printed or screened onto the banner. The nice banners in Estonia run about $150-$300, and the cheap banners to be avoided run about $30-$50. Estonian tends to cost more, it seems the real market prices for other republics are about 25-50% less. There are lots of overpriced banners on ebay, nobody ever seems to buy them.
Its better to get a banner from an individual enterprise as opposed to a governmental unit or region. The local banners tend to be unique, you will not find another one. However the ministries and counties made some banners by the dozens and you will often find duplicates on the market. For example, I would imagine a banner called "winner of the labor competition of Kiev" would exist by the dozens, whereas "winner of the labor competition for the Kiev bakery" would be almost unique.
Some banners were awarded on an annual basis to be kept, these would be more plentiful than the banners that were to be passed on to the next years award recipient.
Documents exist for the banners as well, these are very difficult to find.
Military banners tend to be more expensive, and sport banners tend to be less expensive.
I hope this helps!

Last edited by Keith; 05-24-2013 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:30 AM   #4
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Re: New - Need advice

Doug Drabik (dadrabik here) often trades in military banners and I can vouch for him. These are definitely more expensive than labor banners or pendants.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:51 PM   #5
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Re: New - Need advice

During my visits to Estonia I have seen a few nice banners from different organizations. Some cheap, some more expensive. I like Estonia SSR and try to pick up good stuff when I come across them. Just recently I had a velvet banner with the Estonia state seal - but sold it as I do not have display space.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:52 PM   #6
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Re: New - Need advice

Hello TKenniston and welcome to the forum!
I personally have bought a very nice labor red banner from Ebay back in 2005. It is nothing rare as it was a banner awarded to a sewing factory in Sterlitamak, Bashkir Autonomous Republic. The seller was from Sterlitamak himself and I have bought many items from him during the years 2004-2007. Now he mostly sells banknotes though. But at that time, I could ask for whatever and he was looking around and trying to find it for me.

One side of the banner has an embroided emblem of Soviet Union and the Russian words for 'Red Banner' and 'Sterlitamak Sewing Fabric'. The other side has the embroided face of Lenin looking forward to the bright future and has the Russian words for 'Proletarians of all countries, unite!' and 'Under the banner of Marxism Leninism, under the command of the KPSS, forward to the victory of Communism.' Made of thick velvet. Measures 164 x 152 cm.

At $135 + shipping at the time, I might have paid on the high side, but it was in excellent condition and I really liked it. Now, it looks like it was a good purchase.

It it pretty thick and heavy.
Unfortunately, the pictures don't do justice. It's much more beautiful and impressive in real.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg banner_sterlitamak_1.jpg (99.0 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg banner_sterlitamak_6.jpg (99.7 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg banner_sterlitamak_7.jpg (84.7 KB, 7 views)
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:54 PM   #7
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Re: New - Need advice

And close-up details...
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File Type: jpg banner_sterlitamak_3.jpg (81.4 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg banner_sterlitamak_4.jpg (98.9 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg banner_sterlitamak_2.jpg (83.8 KB, 4 views)
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:05 PM   #8
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Re: New - Need advice

This is a beautiful banner, almost certainly unique from a fairly small factory. My experience is that they made these banners in large quantities then embroidered the name of the factory when it was purchased. These are beautiful items.....
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