This gorgeous vintage Russian lacquered box is from Fedoskino, the country's oldest center of lacquer miniature production.
Russian lacquer art gained great popularity after the fall of Imperial Russia and developed from the long held tradition of icon painting.
After the collapse, icon painters were no longer sought after to decorate churches and the palatial estates of Russia's elite.
Needing a way to make a living, the painters began manufacturing paper-mâché boxes which they would then decorate with classic Russian scenes and stories.
The lid of this box features an incredible hand-painted portrait of Vasilisa the Beautiful from folklorist Alexander Afanasyev's classic collection of Russian fairy tales, "Narodnye Russkie Skazki".
As you can see, the figure is rendered in remarkable detail with brushstrokes as vibrant and energetic as they are delicate.
Vasilisa wears a red robe and traditional Russian headdress, all of which are pictured with extraordinary detail and reflective gold and silver-tone accents.
The figure's headdress is decorated with hundreds of colorful dots which look like shimmering jewels.
After all, Vasilisa does end up marrying the Czar at the end of the story.
The rim of the hinged lid is further decorated with goldtone dots while the sides of the base are accented with languid gold-tone scrolls and silver-tone florals.
You will find inscriptions in script Cyrillic at the base of the portrait which include the title Василиса (Vasilisa) and the village name, Федоскино (Fedoskino).
The interior of the trinket box, like many classic vintage Russian lacquer pieces, features a vibrant red finish.
Both the lid and base show some minor signs of expected wear which include a few light surface scratches here and there.
However, the hand-painted portrait and surrounding accents continue to shine brightly; overall, this remarkable little trinket box remains in very good vintage condition.
This piece is an outstanding example of the intriguing art of Russian lacquer painting.
Measurements: Box measures 4" long, 3 1/2" wide and 1 1/2" tall Weight: 77.1 grams (2.7 oz)
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