All about Russian Nesting Dolls

Dolls For Sale Chicago

Russian nesting dolls, or the matryoshka doll, refers to a very particular type of dolls where identical wooden dolls decreasing in size are made so they fit inside each other. The first set was carved by Vasily Zvyozdochkin in 1890.
Traditionally, the outermost doll is a woman who is dressed in a peasant jumper which is called a sarafan. However the dolls inside may be of either gender and the innermost doll is typically a baby made of a single piece of wood. The painting of each individual doll tends to be very elaborate and can come in a wide range of themes, such as fairy tale characters.
The word “matryoshka” translates to “little matron” and is a form of the Russian name “Matryona” typically seen as a female’s first name.
Modern artists have made these dolls in many different themes and new styles. Many of the common themes include special holidays, floral patterns, animals, and many more. Here at Gigi’s we have the Russian Lady nesting Doll and we also have a special set featuring Presidents of the United States.
Russian Nesting Dolls can also be seen as a metaphor. Meaning, it mimics the way that many things are formed in nature, with an object inside and object. A great example of this is with how onions are layered.
These dolls go through a special production process. Various knifes and chisels are used to shap a block of wood into the shape of the doll, the wood pieces being different sizes depending on the size of the doll. The smallest doll (which is not taken apart) is made first. This helps to determine the shape and size of the larger dolls. The bottom parts are made separately. No measurements are done; the sizing is all done by eye. After the dolls are made, they are treated, painted, coated, and allowed to dry before nesting them inside one another.
These Russian Nesting Dolls are a great gift for any occasion and their sturdy hand crafting allows them to be treasured forever.