We are proud to offer you a selection of divine Russian gifts and toys, straight from the Moscow region, Russia. Our speciality are Russian nesting (also matryoshka / babushka) dolls. These intricate ornaments charm collectors around the globe and provide an invaluable insight into the rich culture of Russia.
Matryoshka dolls are a time-honoured Russian tradition. The first nesting dolls were made in early 1890 inspired by souvenir dolls from Japan as wooden toys for kids. These days matryoshka dolls are firmly associated with Russia, they are now excellent gift for any occasion.
A set of matryoshka dolls consists of a wooden figure which can be pulled apart to reveal another figurine of the same sort inside. It, in turn, contains another one inside, and so on. The number of nested figures can be as few as three or as many as twenty. The dolls are typically made of linden tree (basswood), dried for at least 2 years to ensure their stability.
The artistry is in the painting of each doll, which can be extremely elaborate.
Origin of our Matryoshka Dolls
There are several towns in Russia with a long lasting tradition of crafting nesting dolls with notable matryoshka styles. Sergiyev Posad in the Moscow region has a particularly distinguished history in these artistic endeavours.
The town is even more famous for the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, the monastery founded by St. Sergius of Radonezh in 1337. The Lavra played a key role in the formative history of medieval Russia and has been the centre of Russian spirituality and uprising.
Any matryoshkas you purchase from our shop will be sent directly from this cultural haven to your home.
Technically, the correct Russian name for the dolls is Matryoshka. Inaccurate terminologies such as babushka dolls seem to have slowly seeped into the foreign vocabularies, unbeknownst to the Russian creators. Interestingly, babushka is the Russian word for grandmother and has little to do with matryoshkas. A possible connection, perhaps, rests on the generous nature of Russian babushkas, spoiling their grandchildren with toys and, more likely than not, matryoshkas.
However, for whatever nomenclature you wish to use, there is no disguising the charm of these delightful figurines. Hopefully, to you, these collectible matryoshka dolls will not only themselves prove a marvellous children's toy or amazing gift, but a window into the rich, enchanting culture of the Russian people.
Books about Russian nesting dolls
If you would like to learn more about the Russian nesting dolls, here is a small collection of books from Amazon.com