Russian Lacquer Box from the Palekh school of miniatures featuring the Russian fairy tale "the Firebird." The box has a hinged lid with a hand painted miniature showing Ivan pulling a feather from the firebird's tail while the bird is flying away. It is signed "Serov A.", likely for Alexander Serov. To the far right, the box is also marked "Palekh" for the school and in the center it is entitled "Firebird", a reference to the depicted fairy tale. The box is very nicely done with a great border on the top and around the base of the box. It measures 1" H x 3 1/8" x 3 1/8". Not dated, but likely late 20th c. It's been in my personal collection for more than 15 years.
According to the depicted fairy tale, Ivan sat under the apple tree for several hours with nothing happening. Suddenly the whole garden was illuminated by a radiant golden light. The firebird flew in, her eyes sparkled like huge crystals and her wings were golden flames. She perched herself on the tree and began to pick the apples. Ivan snuck up to her softly and tried to catch her. Although he could not hold her, he was able to seize her tail and as the bird flew away, he was left with one luminous feather in his hand. The story continues and can be found online or in almost any Russian fairy tale book.
Hand painted Russian lacquer box featuring the Firebird fairy tale Palekh