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Matryoshka Guide

SHOP for Matryoshka Dolls   matryoshka Russian nesting dolls for collectors

Russian matryoshka dolls have become a true collector's item. It should be noted that not all matryoshka dolls are created equal and in order to understand why prices vary so much you should consider the various categories of Russian matryoshka dolls.  Matryoshka History

Museum Quality Matryoshka Dolls   museum quality dolls 
Russian matryoshka dolls have been elevated to a collectible art by a number of talented and imaginative artists now producing one-of-a-kind creations of museum quality. These beautifully painting wooden doll sets are the original design of the artist and are skillfully executed with attention to detail. Prices for these finest of nesting dolls can range from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.


Unique Art Quality Matryoshka Dolls  fine art dolls
Beautiful one-of-a-kind matryoshka sets with original designs by the artist. Dolls of unique design take longer to produce and are usually created with great attention to detail. Prices generally range from one hundred to several hundred dollars per set.



Limited Production Matryoshka Dolls  limited art dolls
An doll artist can create a fine design that she* or a small group of women in a cooperative will reproduce. Quantities of such dolls are limited due to the labor intensive nature of the work. Demand for some of these beautiful dolls frequently exceeds supply. Price range for these dolls is generally between $50 and $200. (Most of the matryoshka artists today are women, though that was not always the case.)


Basic Art Matryoshka Dolls  basic art dolls 
Basic art doll sets are produced by an individual artist or a small artists' cooperative. The designs are generally simple favoring floral motifs. These dolls can be produced more quickly and in greater quantity than dolls with more detailed painting. Prices generally range from under $10 to $50.



Factory and Souvenir Quality Matryoshka Dolls  Factory and Souvenir quality russian dolls
The majority of Russian matryoshka fall into this category. Exemplified by the brightly colored Semenov dolls introduced at the 1900 Paris World Exposition and in production ever since. This most recognizable of the factory produced dolls has a yellow shawl and a red apron with pink and red floral bouquets. The Semenov dolls take their name from the village where they are produced. While each doll is hand painted and finished, thousands of these sets are made each year. The dolls vary slightly due to the nature of hand work, but the same basic design is painted over and over again in a factory setting. Other centers of mass produced matryoshka include Kirov (Vyatka) and Polkhov Maidan - each with their own distinct designs. These dolls are the most appropriate as gifts to children, as they are inexpensive enough to be played with and are painted with bright colors. Prices start under $10 per set and go up to about $50 for sets of 10 or more dolls.

Market Russian Matryoshka Dolls
These are generally of the lowest quality and have little or nothing to do with Russian culture. An example are the sets based on political figures: the Gorbachev Russian leaders sets produced during the peak of glasnost and the current sets of President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. These are "collectibles" created to be collected by "collectors," driven by the market demand. nesting dolls of basketball and football teams, Disney characters, and Whinnie-the-Pooh, and Pokemon are "market dolls." For example, Harry Potter dolls are quite popular.
Matryoshka History

SHOP for Matryoshka Dolls   matryoshka Russian nesting dolls for collectors


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