Sunday, September 21, 2008

From Russia With Love

Hello, Dear Ones! Are you a collector? I have to confess I've been a collector of many different things through my olden years! :) Well, in the late 1970s, you know the time of polyester and disco dancing, I took a tiny trip to Copenhagen, Denmark and another little collection was started.


Matryoskha dolls.



So sweet. So cute. So childlike. Hey, I'm olden but I'm very childlike. Did you know that? :)

All are wearing scarves on their tiny heads. Well, painted on scarves.

These little 'nesting dolls' were made in Russia! The above picture is a bit fuzzy, but this is a paper sticker on the bottom of one my doll sets. Most have been stamped 'USSR' but this one is the only one I have that has the paper sticker on the bottom.

Here is a photo of the stamp. Oops! I took a bad picture and it's even missing the 'U"! I suppose the stamper was in a hurry! ;)

What nice posture these little dolls have.


Do these groups of dolls remind you of anything? Why of course they do! Mommies! Okay, now this leads me to the perfect spot to tell you the story of Matryoshka Dolls!


Matryoshkas are a set of dolls of decreasing sizes placed on the inside of the other! My first glimpse of these little cuties was when my son used to watch Sesame Street and these little dolls would dance around hopping in and out of each other teaching young ones to count. Oh, I got side tracked, on with the story...

The name "Matryoshka" is from a word that is closely related to the word "Mother". The name was associated with the image of a mother of a big family who was very healthy and had a portly (don't cha love that word) figure - in other words, she was rather fat! ;)

These dolls are considered to be a symbol of motherhood and fertility. A mother doll with lots of doll-children inside her! If you look closely at the dolls you'll see a line across her middle - this is where you pull the doll apart and there is another one hiding inside. Peek a boo - I see you! :) Take a look at the tiny tiny baby. Some of the last dolls are so tiny that I'm really surprised I've never lost one!


Every set of dolls is hand carved and hand painted. Some are painted very simply like these while other sets are decorated with Russian fairy tales. Some even tell entire stories.

The set on the left was my very first ones that I bought in Copenhagen. These two sets are painted in the very traditional village look with red, black and a touch of yellow.


It was rather hard to get a good picture of some of these. They're very very shiny and the glare made it hard to get a good shot. These are painted very simply.


Notice, all the dolls have the traditional scarf wrapped around her little head! This set is painted to show snow in the evening.


You don't have to go to Russia to purchase Matryoshkas. I've found them in many different countries. These precious little ones I found in Florence, Italy painted with different scenes of agriculture and the seasons.


Look at a close up of this little lovely's face! Isn't she sweet? Again, they are lacquered so heavily! Do you think it would help with the shine, if little Mother powdered her most tiny nose? ;0

A friend brought this little red set to me from India. Now they weren't made in Russia. So there are impostors in Matryoshkas just like they are in Bathroom Divas! ;)

But with a beautiful little face like this...I had to include them in my collection.


Here are my little silly faced ones and they're painted very flowery.


I think this is my favorite set of Matryoshka dolls. We bought these in the Czech Republic. Maybe I like them so much because Mr. Precious thinks they look like me! You know what? Do you think Mr. Precious thinks I look like a cartoon!!


Oh, but she's so beautiful and painted so elaborately! I'm sure this is what he sees and thinks of moi! :)

You may wonder where I keep all my little Matryoshkas! I keep them in my "Edra" cabinet (another piece of furniture which I've given a name) at the top of the stairs on the landing...for now. They do move around a bit. Next week I may have them sitting somewhere else.


I certainly hoped you've enjoyed seeing my Russian Matryoshka Dolls.

Be a bunch of sweeties,
Shelia :)

I'll leave you with a little Note Song ~

Back in the U.S.S.R.

Flew in from miami beach b.o.a.c.,
didn't get to bed last night
On the way the paper bag was on my knee,
man I had a dreadful flight
I'm back in the ussr,
you don't know how lucky you are boy
Back in the ussr
Been away so long I hardly new the place,
gee it's good to be back home
Leave it til tomorrow to unpack my case,
honey disconnect the phone
I'm back in the ussr,
you don't know how lucky you are boy
Back in us, back in the us, back in the ussr
Well, the ukraine girls really knock me out,
they leave the west behind
And moscow girls make me sing and shout
That georgias always on my mi-mi-mi-mi-mind
I'm back in the ussr,
you don't know how lucky you are boy
Back in us, back in the us,
back in the ussr
Well, the ukraine girls really knock me out,
they leave the west behind
And moscow girls make me sing and shout
That georgias always on my mi-mi-mi-mi-mind
Show me round your snow peaked mountains way down south
Take me to your daddys car
Let me hear your balalaikas ringing out,
come and keep your comrade warm
I'm back in the ussr,
you dont know how lucky you are boy
Back in the ussr
~sung by Paul McCartney

39 comments:

  1. Hello ,so nice to meet you,I enjoyed your post very much..Beautiful:)

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  2. Morning Sweet Shelia~ what a gorgeous collection! The details are beautiful. I loved reading the story behind them and where you found them all. You have been to some incredible places my friend. Have a wonderful day!

    Hugs~ J

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  3. GM SWeet Pickel...those are just wonderful never knew the story on them..beautifil collection..thanks for sharing...hugs and smiles Gloria

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  4. Good Morning Sweetness, you certainly have an amazing collection. I don't think I have heard of these kinds of dolls, so thank you for the education on them. :)

    Love ya,
    Chris

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  5. What a nice collection of dolls, they are soooo cute. I have been looking at all your Christmas decorations and ones from the past, as well. It's all so pretty...I hope your computer problems are solved!

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  6. Wow, these dolls are beautiful, you have such a wonderful collection. I love these too. Lovely.
    Karen

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  7. Sheila,
    I just e-mailed you some tags of Babushka dolls that I designed this year. I know that aol sometimes throws new addresses in the Spam folder. So, I thought I would tell you to look for them. Merry Christmas
    A Scrapbook of Inspiration
    Karen

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  8. Good morning sweet Shelia! Oh, they're just darling! My very favorite are the ones with snow. Oh my goodness, they are just gorgeous. What wonderful treasures to have. And it's funny, with all the pictures you've shared with us, I don't remember ever seeing these beauties.
    And I thought Edra was downstairs near the staircase? Am I wrong, or did you move her?

    Justine :o )

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  9. Those are so pretty and you have a GREAT collection of them! The story is precious too!

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  10. Good morning Shelia, You have such pretty treasures. what a wonderful collection you have. I loved the story. I hope you have a great day.

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  11. Oh they are so cute! My neighbor went to Russia for a vacation with her mom and came back with some of these. Kathy

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  12. FOR STARTERS I'M SO GLAD YOU GOT YOUR PUTER OUT IF THE HOSPITAL.I KNOW HOW LOST WE ARE WITHOUT THEM.
    NOW WOWOW.THESE DOLLS ARE SO FABUOUS.THEIR PRECUIOUS LITTLE FACES ARE ADORABLE.NO WONDER YOU LOVE THEM SO MUCH.WHO COULD BLAME YOU.
    COME TO MY BLOG AND SCROLL DOWN AFTER MY TREASURES,THERE'S A PIC OF OUR HOSTESS CIELO.SHE WAS TRYING TO FLY OVER THE FULL MOON THE OTHER NIGHT.BUT SHE COULDN'T FIND HER BROOM.I HAVE A PIC OF HER...ANN

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  13. Good Morning Sheila,

    Whew! Your puter is all fixed up and ready to go :). Your Russian dolls are a beautiful collection, I've decided you're the busiest woman in the USA. You have beautiful collections and they move around so much. Where do you find the time dear one?

    Christmas Blessings,
    Kathi :)

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  14. Glad to see you called out your Matryoskha troops. They seemed to have handled your computer problem very effectively. They really are adorable. Love this post.

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  15. Hi Shelia, These are adorable dolls! I never new about the history of them. You have a wonderful collection!!! Thanks for sharing them with us. Nancy

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  16. What a beautiful collection! i can see why you are attracted to such sweetie little ones. You did a great job with your pictures and love how they are displayed in your painted china cabinet.

    xoxo,
    Cathleen

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  17. I'm so glad that you got your nasty computer fixed so that now you have time to play with your dolls.

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  18. Hello my sweet Shelia... I love your collection of Matryoshkas... They are all so beautiful... I have seen them at some of my auntie’s houses when I was young but never a collection so elaborate... Just beautiful... and I am sure Mr. Precious sees the cuteness and sweetness of these little darlings and that is why they remind him of you... Have a blessed Sunday... Love YA

    (((HUGS)))
    Donna

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  19. These are beautiful and I love the perky colors they are painted. Just a lovely collection.

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  20. What treasures you have there! And they look wonderful in Miss Edra!! They are a wonderful reminder of great trips you have taken, I'm sure. Have a good week - hope your floor is done and your tree is up. Sally

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  21. Shelia, years ago, our church hosted some youth from Russia. They presented the church with a set of those dolls. At the time, they were very rare. That is the hardest word to say. The two girls that stayed with us made us say it over and over until we got it correct. Can you say, "Southern Accent?" That's OK. We had those girls saying "Y'all" real good. ;-)

    The word means 'Beautiful' in Russian. Beautiful Doll. They are hand made by little old ethnic ladies/artisans. There was a tad of a language barrier, but they may have been describing gypsies. Not sure.

    You collection is magnificent! museum quality.

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  22. Hey Shelia! I have a few sets of those cute little nesters. I moved and downsized to a smaller living room well actually not smaller but the home is configured differently and I lost the wall space - I digress, anyway I had a few sets of those cuties and now they are packed away in my crawl space under the family room. I need to get back under there and dig out my treasures. I didn't get to travel for mine I bought them from a cute little norwegian shop at the mall, and pier one. I think that Mr. Precious is right that last set does resemble you - it's cute! Miles wishes Chloe Dawn a Merry Christmas! ~ Robyn

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  23. Shelia, Stop by my blog when you get a chance, I have something for you.

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  24. Shelia, Mr. Precious thinks you are beautiful like the dolls!

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  25. Shelia...I can't believe that you waited so long to show us this wonderful collection. And I'm glad "portly" is considered a good thing somewhere! I loved them...their faces are all so beautiful. What a fun and colorful collectable! Now what else are you not showing us???

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  26. I love your dolls and all of the information about them! I have 2 sets, but I think they are imposters, although they're really nice and well made. I don't really appreciate them, but your information makes them more interesting to me. I'll have to get them out of storage.

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  27. What a collection! The pretty dolls DO look like you! They have your cheery personally! (and lots of followers..just look at all the ladies!)

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  28. Hi! These were very familiar to me! :-) Alot of kids have had those over here.. perhaps their father had bought them when he was on one of his many trips as a sailor!?

    Glad you/you blog are/is back up and running again! :-)

    HAve a great week!

    Monica

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  29. Good evening, sweet Sheila. Your Matryoskha doll collection is stunning!! I love them. Wow!

    Hope you have a good week! :)
    *hugs*

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  30. Oh are they beautiful!!!! That is something that I would love to have a collection of! Tim likes them too! Our neighbors have a set and he always finds his way towards it when we visit!

    take care,
    Dawn

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  31. Thanks for participating in "World of Treasures and for all you did to make this a fun event..

    cielo

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  32. So glad you're back up and running. Love these fun little people!

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  33. Hello, there, beautiful cabinet--enjoyed seeing it again. This was so interesting. I'll have to tell Young Gollum about it. He studied Russian in college, and we just bought a vintage Russian ornament for his ex-roommate,who just got back from a year in eastern Europe.
    I love how your dolls roam all over your house.
    Hugs,
    Gollum

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  34. Oh Shelia - I really enjoyed that post. My daughter has a collection of Russian dolls. I think they are beautiful. When I lived in Edinburgh there was one shop devoted to selling these dolls and nothing else. It sounds like you have done a lot of travelling too! Florence Italy - oh I so love Italy. As far as Mr Precious thinking you look like one of the dolls - its because you are cute with big eyes and long eyelashes. What a compliment he gave you!! Lucky girl!

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  35. Sheila,
    Thanks for stopping by ... the dining room went through many a transformation this Christmas. I ripped that tree apart three times, ornaments and all. I'm still not sure I'm happy with it. Scott actually is a fantastic cook, and as such, he knows how to time things well - and prep time takes him about 1/2 as long as some it does me. I think he started cooking at 3:30, we ate at 6. Oooo, I WANT THOSE DOLLS! Just one set though ... you willing to part? LOL! To Ebay I go!

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  36. Sheila what an interesting and wonderful thing to collect! And my friend that is some collection!! I think I could easily find myself longing for matryoshka dolls!! *winks* Thank you so much for sharing them! Vanna

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  37. Oh I love those Shelia!
    My mom has some as well and I always thought they were adorable!
    You have quite the collection there!

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  38. What a great collection...love the flowery ones!

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  39. I love your doll collection, they are all so pretty, each and every one of them! I'm sure Mr. Precious (your husband, I assume?) thinks you are a living doll!

    I have one set, bought here in Mobile, Alabama at a Nicholas and Alexandra exhibit at the civic center. There were many items from Russia for sale in the gift shop, and I, too, "met" matrushka dolls for the first time when I watched Sesame Street with my children, and I fell in love with them, so of course when I saw them, I had to buy a set! I didn't know the whole story behind them, thank you for the information. I wonder if the Russian dance from The Nutcracker Suite is based on these dolls. Seems likely, doesn't it?

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I'm so pleased you would come to see me and so please leave me a comment and I'll do my very best to respond back to you. Be a sweetie...Shelia :)