RUSSIAN THIMBLES

RussianEnglish
Home
History
Museum
Present times
About firms
Artists
Foreign
Bibliography
About myself
Guestbook

The very first matryoshka doll

A wooden girl in a brightly-patterned sarafan and a kerchief attracts attention and brings smile to your face. It splits in two and reveals another doll which also splits in two and ... there is yet another one. And so on...
This is the world-famous matryoshka. The very first matryoshka doll was made and painted to the sketches of the The very first matryoshka painter S.Malyutin by V.Zvezdochkin, a remarkable craftsman of those times. It consisted of an eight-piece nest and depicted a girl in a sarafan and a kerchief. Next came the boy, then another girl and so on. The last one was a baby doll in swaddling clothes.
The demand for the original matryoshkas was great despite their high cost.
Soon there appeared matryoshka dolls depicting girls dressed in sarafans and kerchiefs with baskets, small bundles, sickles, bunches of flowers and grain sheaves in their hands. There were girls in short sheepskin coats with shawls and valenki in their hands, shepherdesses with reed-pipes, old men with broad and thick beards, old-believers in dark sarafans with rosaries in their hands. There were bride-grooms and brides holding "burning" candles and a nest of relatives inside them.
The boyar series included a stout bearded boyar in the kaftan or fur coat, high fur hat and a staff, a boyarinya wearing a "pearl-studded" kokoshnik on her head, a clerk with an ink-pot slung from his belt, a falconer, an warrior and so on.
The historical dates and jubilees also found their reflection in the wooden dolls. The whole collection of the matryoshka dolls depicting characters from his books were made to mark the centenary of the birth of Nikolai Gogol: Taras Bulba, Plyushkin, Chichikov, Manilov, Korobochka, Gorodnichy with Anna Andreyevna, Khlestakov, the judge, postmaster and other characters from his unfading comedy "Revisor". Eight-piece dolls depicting Mikhail Kutuzov and Napoleon with nests of members of their staffs appeared in 1912 to commemorate the centenary of the Patriotic War of 1812. Craftsmen made dolls based on the subjects of tales and fables:"The Turnip", with depicts an old man with a big turnip in his hands and his old woman and a nest consisting of his grand-daughter, a dog, a mouse, and a cat. "The Golden Fish", "Tsarevitch Ivan", "The Wonder Bird" were among the 2-piece and 8-piece dolls made at beginning of the 20th century. The nests of 24, 8 and 1 were most popular. Back in 1913 the nest of 48 dolls was made for the Toy Fair in Petersburg.
After the Great October Revolution the conditions of labour of craftsmen changed radically. In 1918-1919 artels appeared one after another which united craftsmen who until then worked alone. In 1928 the handicraft-industrial artel at Sergiev Posad was reorganized into a big toy factory, known today as the Zagorsk Toy Factory No.1. Its matryoshkas travel all over the wold. The demand for them was great at the 1958 Wold Fair in Brussels. A 50-piece beauty went to Montreal in 1967 together with all the other toys. The Zagorsk craftsman Mokeyev has commemorated the 50 years of the Soviet Power with a nest of 60 dolls.
A toy museum opened in Moscow in 1918 enjoy immense popularity among the children. The museum's staff headed by I.Bartram conducted extensive work among the children, who call Bartram "Uncle Museum", organising performances of the puppet theatre. A workshop set up at the museum made the first Soviet toys. The world's first scientific and experimental institute of toys (known today as the research institute) was opened in Zagorsk in 1932. A nest of 42 dolls made among many other dolls was dedicated to the 42nd Anniversary of Soviet state. In 1958 craftsman M.Moshkin made a musical matryoshka-nevalyashka (a doll originally called Vanka-Vstanka with weight attached to the base causing it always to recover its upright position) made by hot pressing method from wood and paper pulp.
Today the name of matryoshka is incorrectly given to all wooden dolls. Traditionally matryoshkas are nested dolls. The first doll in the nest was a girl dressed in a sarafan and wearing a kerchief. She was called matryoshka from the Russian name Matryona.
Matryoshkas became so popular that craftsmen developed the theme still further. They cut the doll on the handles of the rattles and made matryoshkas containers for smaller dolls in sarafans.
The image of matryoshkas have appeared on stamps, match-box labels and quite recently on the badges made in the town of Gorky. Their popularity is soaring high and fast.




The first Russian matryoshka
"A Girl With a Cockerel",
the end of the XIX century
The first Russian matryoshka
A woman with a bundle
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
Boyars
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
A family
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
Bogatyr and a girl
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
An old-believer
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
"The Turnip"
A doll made to the motif of a fable by the same name
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
A woman with folded arms
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
"The Quarttet"
A nest of dolls from Ivan Krylov's fables,
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
Tsarina the Swan
A cone-shaped doll
illustrating a fable by A.Pushkin
"Tsar the Saltan",
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
"The Humpback Horse"
A nest of twelve dolls illustrating a fable by P.Yershov,
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
Bride and groom with relatives
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
Gorodnichy from the Gogol's "Revisor"
The dolls was made to mark the centenary of Gogol's birth,
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
Taras Bulba
made to the motive of N.Gogol's novel,
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
Stepan Razin,
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
Kutuzov with his staffs
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
Napoleon with his staffs
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
The strelets
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
The Baltic peoples
in their national dress
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
The peoples of the North
in their national dress
Sergiev Posad,
the beginning of XX century
Matryoshka
A nest of 30 dolls,
Zagorsk Toy Factory No.1
Matryoshka
A nest of 30 dolls,
Factory
Semyonov (Gorky)
Matryoshka
"Exploring the space"
A nest of 12 dolls depicting cosmonauts,
Factory
Semyonov (Gorky)
Matryoshka
Semyonov Matryoshkas,
Factory of toys
Semyonov (Gorky)
Matryoshka
Mini-dolls. A nest of three 3,5 cm in height
Factory of toys
Semyonov (Gorky)
Matryoshka
Nests of 8 and 18 dolls
Polhov-Maidan (Gorky)
Matryoshka
The singing-bird and other dolls,
Polhov-Maidan (Gorky)
Matryoshka
A four-doll matryoshka,
Kalinin
1967
Matryoshka
"Maryam"
in the national Bashkir dress
"Agidel"
Ufa (Bashkir ASSR)
Matryoshka
Fenya
A nest of nine dolls,
Ioshkar-Ola
Mary ASSR
1967
Matryoshka
The musical doll-nevalyashka,
Zagorsk
1958
Matryoshka
A nest of 30 dolls,
Zagorsk
1958
Matryoshka


About firms

Author Irina Sotnikova

Material used:
Mojaeva E., Heifis A. Matryoshka. M., 1969.


If you want to use this information fully or partly active reference to the site "Russian thimbles" is obligatory.




  ///   Home   ///   Next   ///   Top   ///  

Rambler's Top100