We are delighted you’ve decided to enter the charming world of Russian nesting dolls. Be careful: these matryoshka dolls may magically captivate you for as long as they have us:). Our fascination with these dolls has been growing for over 20 years!
Undoubtedly matryoshkas are the most popular Russian souvenir. They have gained a glorious reputation far beyond Russia’s borders. The first Russian nesting dolls were created by artist Malyutin and turner Zvezdochkin sometime in 1893-1896. In 1900 matryoshkas received a bronze medal at the Paris exhibition, and in 1904 Sergei Malyutin began the producing dolls in Sergiev Posad in the workshop "Children’s Education".
Thus Sergiev Posad became the center of nesting doll production in Russia. Even before this, the town had a long tradition in toy manufacturing, thanks to the its masters of anciently-carved wooden crafts for kids and grown-ups.
The rapid growth in the popularity of the dolls led to the fact that in 1911 there were about 40 workshops making matryoshkas in Sergiev Posad. They carried out orders from Russia as well as from abroad.
Nesting doll workshops slowly appeared in other towns of Russia too, such as Semenov, Maidan, Tver and Lipetsk. But the main center of matryoshka manufacture was and remains Sergiev Posad. The history of this town is inextricably linked with the name of St. Sergius of Radonezh, who in 1337 founded the Monastery of the Holy Trinity - the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church – in the town.
In the 1990s the manufacture of nesting dolls was given a new impetus by the political changes occurring in Russia. A large number of people began to paint these dolls at home. It was a real flowering of folk art. Once a week they brought their matryoshkas to Moscow's Vernisage – a large outdoor market - and sold them to tourists and resellers.
We have told you just about Russian nesting dolls, but there are other Russian crafts and folk arts, which are many other equally remarkable: khokhloma, gzhel, Palekh, mstera, kholui, zhostovo... Each of them has its own magnificent background, and their own loyal fans and admirers.
We represent only a small flow in the great river of Russian handicrafts. We sincerely hope that you will like our products and service. Happy shopping!