Wednesday, February 29, 2012

[ my matryoshka ]

MY GUY took a business trip to Germany and the sweet guy that he is, brought me a set of Matryoshka nesting dolls. Similar to a set my grandfather gave me as a child, this set is much larger but still painted in the classic style.

a little history
The first nesting dolls actually originated in China and Japan in the 1700s but Matryoshka dolls are traditionally Russian, originating in the late 1800s. Their popularity extended beyond Russia when they were displayed at the Paris World Exposition in 1900. By 1920, exports of these dolls increased and around the same time, were being made by German toymakers near Munich. The name comes from a very popular female name whose Latin root 'mater' means mother. The name was associated with the image of a mother with a big family and it became symbolic of the brightly painted wooden dolls made to stack inside one another.

how they're made
Each set of dolls is made from lime, birch, alder or aspen. The smallest one is made first, with each subsequent doll turned on a lathe by highly skilled craftsmen.

Over the years, nesting dolls have had their aprons painted with historical themes, nobility, fairy tale themes, landscapes and architectural monuments, though traditionally they depict peasant girls in traditional dress.

Many eastern European countries like Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and Ukraine have their own versions of nesting dolls in their own shapes and motifs, making them a popular souvenir item. 

Nowadays, nesting dolls have become a popular icon, especially in the crafting community. Look at all the fun matryoshka-themed items I found on Etsy...

Do you have any Matryoshka dolls?



a happy little life said...

your guy sure is a sweeet one!!!
i have always wanted matryoshka dolls. when we take a trip to russia i will be getting a set... not like i cannot get a set here. but i think it will be such a keepsake!
xox tracie

Design is... All in the Detail said...

What a sweetie! I used to have a set of those too - so cute! Wonder what happened to them?
P.S. “I "tagged" you today on my post...stop by for a look!”

Lynda @ Happenstance Home said...

I think I still have a set of those packed up. I loved to stack and unstack them when I was younger.

Jo @ In Corners of My Mind said...

I love these! My Nan used to have a set and I remember playing endlessly with them when visiting. We have some sweet Matryoshka bead earrings, pendants and bracelets at the gallery right now, people love them, such a wonderful little gift!
Happy Wednesday!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Wow he is a keeper your man! I love nesting dolls and have that very same one. I bought several while in Europe and am always on the hunt for more. Such a special gift!

annie said...

What a sweet surprise...thry are beautiful. And you are right, they are turning up everywhere.

Meeling said...

how lovely! i love it when the hubby brings back a sweet surprise from travels.

i have seen them all over etsy too. they are always so happy looking to me. :-)

The Single Nester said...

When I was in Eastern Europe in the early 90s, I purchased a set for my niece of all the Russian leaders. Wish I had one for myself.

vacation rentals Vancouver said...

Great piece of art.
So sweeet all of these,every one see the effort of artist. Awesome.

Pinecone Camp said...

This post brings back fond memories for me! I used to have a set, and I thought they were beyond magical. What a great gift for your hubby to bring back.


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