Traditional Nesting Dolls
To pass their time, many people are in the practice of collecting things. One of the items that is a collectable for many, are Traditional Russian Nesting Dolls. These wooden depictions of people are hand crafted and hand painted. These Semenov nesting dolls are widely sought after and highly collectable.
These wooden dolls are created in the shape of an eggplant and are designed to fit one inside of another. This design idea was inspired by the Japanese influence of a doll that portrayed a Buddhist monk. This inspiration was then taken back to Russia where an artist named Sergey Malyutin and a woodworker named Vasily Zvyozdochkin collaborated to create these unique nesting dolls. The first set created was a progression of eight figures. The figures are traditionally a woman as the largest doll, followed by children, and then an infant as the last member. This style has been linked to design aspects of today and are called the "matryoshka principle".
These sets are normally carved to create sets in odd numbers, with not less than five dolls in a set. One set of dolls is crafted from one piece of wood. This ensures that the wood is the same density and moisture for all of the pieces created. Talented woodworkers are able to craft as many as a dozen separate figures. Each piece of the set is hollow, except one, allowing the second largest doll to be inserted into the next larger, and so on down the line to the smallest of figures. This smallest doll is the only one that does not open. After the basic set has been carved, the painting of the figures is really what brings life to these dolls.
The decorating that is done on these dolls is hand painted and often very elaborate. These highly detailed depictions were traditionally only of a family, but have expanded to include themed artwork. This could be a serious depiction of such things as Soviet leaders to the whimsical side of portraying fairy tale characters.
If you are searching for a unique gift, adding to a collection, or starting a collection of Traditional Russian Nesting Dolls or Semenov Russian nesting dolls is the perfect answer. From their creation in 1890, these nesting dolls of the classic traditional Matryoshka design are a beautiful way to display intricate handmade artwork that is still very popular and collectable today.