Every year, fur dealers from all over the world gather for the regular international fur auctions in Leningrad.
Every year, fur dealers from all over the world gather for the regular international fur auctions in Leningrad. This July, as buyers from 23 countries prepared to bid against each other, a vast collection of over two million pelts was readied for the auction -- in a building aptly named the Leningrad Palace of Furs.
SYNOPSIS: The Leningrad Palace of Furs is precisely what the name suggests -- a storehouse for one of the most princely collections of natural furs in the world. Every year, pelts from all over the Soviet Union are put up for sale at Leningrad's international fur auction. these scenes were filmed inside the Place of Furs as workers set about selecting, grading and preparing some two-million furs for the July auction. The first of these auctions was held in 1931, and in the ensuing forty years they have become a top event in the international fur trade.
From Soviet forest areas, the harvest of natural furs achieves a rich variety. The pelts of sable, squirrel, mink, Arctic fox, lynx and astrakhan pour into the Palace of Furs in tens of thousands. The workers, preparing pelts for the auction held this week, were y an especially heavy demand for fox furs. In the event, their expectation was fully justified. Demand for red fox ran at twenty per cent higher than ever before. All stocks of white fox furs were exhausted -- principal demand coming from Europe and Canada.
Grey and black astrakhan has always been highly valued at the Leningrad auction. So, too, has sable -- with the chief demand this year coming from buyers from the United States. The July auction lasted for several days and attracted buyers from twenty-three countries.
The Leningrad sales are conducted by Soyushpushnina, an official Soviet agency, which buys the skins in vast quantities from state and collective farme, and then controls domestic and foreign marketing. The regular auctions conducted by the agency have placed Leningrad alongside New York, London and Montreal as the major fur auction capitals of the world.