Catalog Archive
Auction 180, Lot 676

Russian Lubok of First Conflict in the Russo-Japanese War

"[Russian Lubok - Yaponskaya Pobda - Japanese Victory]",

Subject: Port Arthur, China

Period: 1904 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

21.6 x 13.6 inches
54.9 x 34.5 cm

This propaganda broadsheet illustrates the Battle of Port Arthur in February 1904, which marked the commencement of the Russo-Japanese War. This image shows Russian Admiral Stark blowing one of his enemies away from Port Arthur. His other enemies (including Japanese Admiral Togo, Itō Hirobumi, and John Bull) appear battered and exhausted on the opposing shore. Uncle Sam consoles Itō Hirobumi. Printed by Litografiya V V Nessler and published by Torgo-Posrednicheskaya Kontora, both in St. Petersburg.

This broadsheet is one of the satirical lubki that became popular in Russia during the Russo-Japanese War between 1904-05, before they were censored by the Russian government. The lubki typically depicted an overconfident Russia and often relied on racist imagery. They included limited text, often written in verse, which appealed to a wide audience. The Russian lubok of the Russo-Japanese War is often credited as alerting the Japanese to Russian weaknesses enabling the Japanese victory over Russia. The overtly nationalistic and optimistic lubki predicted an easy victory over Japan, which then dealt a severe blow to Russian nationalism after losing the war.


Condition: B+

Light toning with marginal soiling and a couple of tiny edge tears that have been archivally repaired on verso.

Estimate: $350 - $450

Sold for: $200

Closed on 11/18/2020