Russian Dolls

The number of nested figures is traditionally not less than five, but can be much more, up to several dozen with sufficiently fine craftsmanship[2][3][4][5] Savva Mamontov's wife presented the dolls at the Exposition Universelle (1900) in Paris, where the toy earned a bronze medal[2] Zvyozdochkin and Malyutin were inspired by a doll from Honshu, the main island of Japan After all the dolls are made, they are treated, painted, and coated, before nesting them inside one another Matryoshka dolls that featured communist leaders of Russia became very popular among Russian people in the early 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin, designed by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk crafts painter in the Abramtsevo estate of Savva Mamontov, a Russian industrialist and patron of arts Much of the artistry is in the painting of each doll, which can be very elaborate[7]

Originally themes often drew from tradition or fairy tale characters in keeping with the craft tradition, but since the 20th century, they have embraced a larger range, including Soviet leaders The word 'matryoshka' (матрёшка), literally 'little matron', is a diminutive form of Russian female first name 'Matryona' (Матрёна) or 'Matriosha'A matryoshka doll (Russian: матрёшка; IPA: [mɐˈtrʲɵʂkə] ( listen), matrëška), also known as Russian nesting doll, refers to a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside the other Originally themes often drew from tradition or fairy tale characters in keeping with the craft tradition, but since the 20th century, they have embraced a larger range, including Soviet leaders A set of russian dolls consist of a wooden figure which separates, top from bottom, to reveal a smaller figure of the same sort inside, which has, in turn, another figure inside of it, and so on Production involves use of a turning lathe, along with various woodcarving knives and chisels Traditionally the outer layer is a woman, dressed in a sarafan, a long and shapeless traditional Russian peasant jumper dress Malyutin's doll set consisted of eight dolls—the outermost was a girl in a traditional dress holding a rooster No measurements are made during this process; sizing to fit is done by eye The number of nested figures is traditionally not less than five, but can be much more, up to several dozen with sufficiently fine craftsmanship The upper part is placed on the lower half and allowed to dry, which tightens the ring to its upper fitting to ensure the halves will close securely

[7] Areas with notable matryoshka styles include Sergiyev Posad, Semionovo (now the town of Semyonov),[6] Polkhovsky Maidan, and Kirov Sources differ in descriptions of the doll, describing it as either a round, hollow daruma doll or a fukuruma nesting doll, portraying a portly bald old Buddhist monk The figures inside may be of either gender; the smallest, innermost doll is typically a baby lathed from a single small piece of wood (and hence non-opening) Production involves use of a turning lathe, along with various woodcarving knives and chisels Modern dolls often yield an odd number of figures but this is not an absolute rule; the original Zvyozdochkin set, for instance, had an even number

During Perestroika, the leaders of the Soviet Union became a common theme of russian dolls

See Dollcrafts.co.uk for more information