Monday, July 19, 2010

Nesting Doll - the Matryoshka Charm

This cute Matryoshka charm bead was created, by me, via a Charmish customer request. Yey!!!

What is a Matryoshka and why is it sometimes called a Babushka? Matryoshka is the Russian name for "nesting doll". A babushka is a grandmother. So sometimes the nesting doll depicts the grandmother figure, but it can take many forms, so the names are not interchangeable.

History of Nesting Dolls:

The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk crafts painter in the Abramtsevo estate of the Russian industrialist and patron of arts Savva Mamontov. The doll set was painted by Maliutin himself. Maliutin's design was inspired by a set of Japanese wooden dolls representing Shichi-fuku-jin, the Seven Gods of Fortune. Maluitin's doll set consisted of eight dolls -- the outermost was a girl holding a rooster, six inner dolls were girls, the fifth doll was a boy, and the innermost was a baby.

In 1900, Savva Mamontov's wife presented the dolls at the World Exhibition in Paris, and the toy earned a bronze medal. Soon after, matryoshki dolls were being made in several places in Russia.

Modern artists create many new styles of nesting dolls. Common themes include animal collections, portraits and caricatures of famous politicians, musicians, "robots" and popular movie stars. Matryoshka dolls that feature communist leaders of Russia became very popular among Russian people in the early 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Today, some Russian artists specialize in painting themed matryoshka dolls that feature specific categories of subjects, people or nature.

The biggest matryoshka

It cost 3000 rubles (it worth saying that a popular Soviet car cost in that time 5,000 rubles). The doll was sent to exhibition in Japan.

In the 80-s artists from Semionovo developed new types of matryoshkas Artist Serov designed new matryoshka "The Father Frost and Snegurotchka". This matryoshka was so designed that children could learn to count: inside a big "mother" 10 small was hidden.

DIY nesting dolls. I found a great source for nesting doll blanks. Paint your own in any theme. Make a set using photos of your family's faces and painting in the rest.

Japanese nesting dolls.

To learn more about STARTING a collection of Russian nesting dolls, check out this eHow article.

Enjoy! I'd love to see comments and photos from those who collect them!

1 comment:

  1. The Japanese nesting dolls look really cute! This is a great source of inspiration to those who collect doll charms.. Riya -