Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Russian lacquer boxes...

I love Russian lacquer work, and since I arrived to Dublin, I got some here and there, but mostly Matrioshka. I have only four boxes, though, and I think they are quite pretty. My Mom and Mark gave me one each and, when we visited Prague, I bought two more in Celetná. It is not really like I collect them, since I have only those few, and I just get them when it happens to be, anyway. Or when people give me them as gifts. I also have two books on the subject, from an American collector. Unfortunately, I don't have their names right now, since they have been packed already (we are moving in 2 weeks!).

Here they are...

This 1st box was given to me by my Mother. It is an old one, from 1964-1965. It still has the certificate above, which says:

Artistic Foundation of RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic)
Palekh division of the Artistic Foundation of RSFSR
Material - papier-mache
Number of the work - 1964
Theme of the painting - Scarlet Flower
Author - Televinova
Name of the article - ??? (this abbreviation is not clear)
Size - 10 x 10 cm
Quality - Highest
Article of the AF - 193
Price - 9.10
Date - March 23 1965
The above box, depicting a scene of the Fire Bird, was given to me by Mark. I am not sure if he brought it from New York, or bought it here in Dublin. It' s a lovely two-tiered one, with a little mirror inside.

When I saw this one in a lovely shop in Celetná, I could not resist. I was mesmerised with the amazing transparency of the veils and details of the brocaded dresses. I am not sure if it depicts any scenes of a fairy tale, or if it's just a portrait of two young ladies.

Lastly, some pictures of my remaining box, with a scene from the Russian fairy tale "The Gold Fish", which is not quite the gold fish of our imagination, but a large, regal sturgeon. This is another lovely box bought in the same shop in Celetná, with very bright, vivid colours.


  1. Hi Andrea.

    How lovely Russian lacquer boxes are! What charming girls!
    It's the first time for me to see them!
    I'm curious to know about the mythical creatures drawn on the faces. They are fantastic! I wish I knew a little about Russian myths!

    Thank you for sharing these precious boxes!

  2. I just adore them! Thanks for sharing!

    I have a brooch just like your boxes: to Russian guys dancing!

    Here in town I've seen a vintage Russian box; a man & a wife driving though a winter landscape in a sledge (they were wrapped in huge fur coats..)...and wolfs running after the sledge. One of those things I've never bought but that crosses my mind from time to time....

    Hugs from Copenhagen!

  3. Dear Sapphire:
    Glad you like them. They are super-pretty in real life. I might post pictures as well of the matrioshka dolls, as soon as I am moved to the new house (I don't know here they are now, he he!).
    I will also send you the titles of the books. They not only explain about the craftwork, but also tell the stories of each tale!

  4. Hi Aputsiaq!
    They are fantastic, no?
    They can be expensive as well. I saw some stuff in Prague that was very, very dear! But wonderful.
    Your brooch must be super-pretty. You should post a pic!
    Big hug from Sunny Dublin and talk to you soon!