This Russian lacquer box in an oval form is done with the traditional black background and features an image from a Russian traditional folksong “Traveling Salesman”. It measures 3” X 1 1/2” X 1 1/4”. The box is in good,used, estate condition. This box has an artist's initials “N.O.” This type of work has been done in Russia for hundreds of years and takes a great deal of skill to create. The boxes are made from a simple either thin wood or even heavy card stock type paper and then covered with many layers of lacquer which is applied and then cured in a type of oven (think super-sticky nail polish, but in thin coats which must be completely cured before adding another layer). A Russian man I used to buy these boxes from told me that it can take a month or more just to make the box which is then totally hand painted by an artist! After the lid is painted that artist, or sometimes another craftsman or woman applies the ornate border along the side of the box's bottom section as well as the border around the artist's painting on the top of the box. On this box, the salesman is showing a woman his various fabrics and other items shown in an open air setting with trees, etc. It is interesting that even during the Soviet period these boxes continued to be made, primarily for export, to keep this craft/art culture alive as well as to bring in much needed western money into their economy. Since they were first produced until the present day Russian lacquer boxes have always been highly prized by collectors as each one is a tiny work of fine art.