Sunday, July 12, 2009

Matryoska Dolls

Russian nesting dolls, one of the primary souvenirs of Russia and widely made throughout the state. It all began at a traditional Saturday meeting (1890) when an attendee brought a Japanese figurine that seemed to nest in one another. It was the entertainment of many near and around, shortly thereafter a true nesting doll appeared, it is believed to be created and made by a unknown monk. Matryoska was a common peasant name, it is said to mean "mother". It is also no mistake that the doll is made plump.
In Sergiev Posad, 45 miles from Moscow, the first toy shoppe for these Russian nesting dolls was born, it is said they made, as the group of dolls, members of families, historical themes, legendary warriors and book characters. Usually made in pieces ranging from 2 in a set, to 24 in a set. By 1913 the first 48 piece set was made and then again in 1967, a 60 piece. By the 1980's the pieces were restricted to ten for children learning to count. Matryoska dolls were painted gouache with a cover of varnish.
Mine is a Nutcracker, celebrating the ballet. C&G Design

6 comments:

tina said...

These were big hits in Poland when we lived in Germany. I never got any though. Nutcracker would be a favorite for sure.

Lola said...

I've heard of these but never seen any. What a delight.

Jean said...

Oh I love the nesting families and have had a few over the years but never have seen any with 24 to them. Very interesting info.

Skeeter said...

How perfect you have the Nutcraker as you have a little ballet Nutcracker in the house with Madame! I have a set that counts to 14 in all! A huge one down to a tiny one so small I keep it stacked inside the next larger size! I also have another set of 5. The set of 14 are from Russia and have the Russian churches painted on them. They sit up high and I just noticed, they need dusting really badly. lol...

Kathleen said...

I love these nesting dolls. I don't have any, but my favorite is the peasant women. They are just delightful. Hugs, Kathleen

Nancy @ La Chambre Rose said...

Nesting dolls have always fascinated me. Great memories of my grandmother's house.