Mid-Century Soviet Union Hand-Painted Bear Cub Porcelain Sculpture (LEO Design)


In nature, some of the cutest and cuddliest creatures can grow-up to become most fearsome—and dangerous.  This Soviet porcelain bear cub might just be one such critter.  The sculpture was made in the Sixties or Seventies in the Soviet Union.

The symbol of the Russian Bear is an old one—at least from the 1500's.  In the West, the symbolism is sometimes interpreted disparagingly: bears can be hulking, awkward and savage.  Unpredictable and dangerous.  But in Russia (and the Soviet Union before that), the bear has been a symbol of national pride: strength, fortitude, power.  The earliest recorded use of the symbol is in Shakespeare's Macbeth (who says to the ghost, "What man dare, I dare. Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear.")  

The bear frequently has been used in Russian crests and regional heraldry.  And the 1980 Moscow Olympics promoted "Misha," a cuddly, smiling bear cub.

Click on the photo above to learn more about this little guy (before he gets too big!).


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248