On offer is a round Russian lacquer box which depicts a scene from the Tale of the Golden Cockerel which was written in verse in the 1830's by Alexander Pushkin the great Russian poet. Pushkin based his poem on the short story Legend of the Arabian Astrologer which is part of Washington Irving's “Tales From The Alhambra”. The box measures 3 1/2” in diameter and about 1 1/8” tall. It is in excellent, estate condition with no damage of any sort. This box is all hand made and the process is quite time consuming. The box alone can take as long as a month to make as it is often a simple card stock or thin wood base which is covered with numerous layers of lacquer which is then placed in a type of kiln or oven to dry completely before the next layer is applied. After the box is created it is then handed over to the artists who totally hand paint each scene and all the scroll work decorations on the borders and sides of the box and its lid. This work has been done in Russia for hundreds of years and is highly prized by collectors. All during the Soviet period the four major towns, where this work has traditionally been done, were kept working to create boxes which were exported to the West and elsewhere because they provided much needed income. This piece was made in Palekh and is typical of their style. The box is artist signed “Panov” and has other Cyrillic writing in gold below the image. These little works of Russian art have been and will continue to be treasured on into the future as long as they are made. I should mention that there are fakes of such work out there which were, to my knowledge, being made mostly in the 90's when the Soviet Union was breaking up. At that time I had a shop/gallery in Michigan and carried Russian lacquer boxes which I've always loved. My supplier who was Russian and very knowledgeable, warned us about Chinese- made fakes which were being done by copying the tops of boxes on a copy machine and then decoupaging them onto fake boxes. I guarantee that this is a genuine handmade item as I have seen various copies over the years and handled many more genuine ones. Buy with confidence and enjoy this little work of art.