Vintage hand painted Matryoshka doll of a gentleman with a Tsarist feel. Unfortunately this is just the outer doll as the others are no longer with him. 12cms high and he probably dates from the 1940s or 1950s but possibly earlier. Original label on base saying made in USSR.
A matryoshka doll матрёшка, also known as a Russian nesting doll, Stacking dolls, or Russian doll is a set of wooden dolls in decreasing sizes that are placed one inside the other. The name “matryoshka” (матрёшка) means literally “little matron” and is a diminutive form of the Russian female first name “Matryona” (Матрёна). The first Russian nesting doll was made in 1890 by Vasily Zvyodzdochkin and designed by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk art decorator at Abramtsevo. Traditionally the outer figure is always a women dressed in a Sarafan, which is a long, shapeless Russian peasant dress. The figures inside may be male or female and the smallest doll is usually a baby turned from a single piece of wood. Much of the artisty is in the painting of the dolls, which can be very elaborate although this one has a simple old fashioned traditional decoration.
The dolls can follow different themes from fairy tales characters to politicians. Matryoshka dolls are often referred to as Babushka, the Russian word for Grandmother.
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