Extraordinary Fedoskino papier mache lacquer tea caddy painted by the master, Vishnyakov, whose mark appears on the underside of the lid. The scene depicted is of a horse-drawn sled and riders with what appears to be a Christmas tree, rushing through the forest. This theme -- a sled or troika traveling through the Russian countryside -- is a traditional and much coveted one, an emblem of this marvelous craft. The inside has the remains of its original lining. Shaped like a barrel, the caddy measures 5" in diameter and stands 4.4" high.
The paintings on the Fedoskino papier mache pieces were produced by the application of several layers of oil paints. One after another, up to four layers were added and worked over: ground tinting, outlines, successive translucent layers, and finally, highlights. Each layer in turn was dried and sealed with lacquer. In certain places mother of pearl was cut into the surface, layers of gold leaf were glued to it, and powdered silver was dusted on. The overall effect is very rich looking and evocative.
For its age, this caddy is in wonderful condition. The lid is rubbed as the pictures show, but there is no damage or cracking. A very rare and beautiful item.