The first of the Russian matryoskha dolls were exhibited at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900 by the wife of the rich Russian landowner - Sava Mamontov which started a trend of Russian Matryoskha being sold worldwide. The bronze medal earned by the doll at that exhibition made them famous thus making Russian artists and craftsmen in different places of Russia to manufacture these beauties. Prior to that the origin of the first doll is not known.
russian dolls
thus vary in their styles according to the places where they originate from. The paint depends upon the prices of the dolls and varies from water colors, acrylic colors, and for the high end dolls gold leaf is also used. Russian Doll sets may contain from three, five, seven, ten and fifty pieces.
Sergiev Posad Style – Wood burning techniques along with floral designs was done for this doll where the top part was comparatively thinner than the lower one. It was the first Matryoshka which went to Paris Exhibition of Dolls and Foreign Toys.
Seminovo Style – The seminovo style is famous for containing many pieces of dolls as compared to other styles. The biggest one was having 72 small dolls and was one meter in length. The face portrays light touch of brush and blush is applied to the cheeks. The artist mostly use dyes in painting these dolls.
Polkhovsky Maidan style: They also use aniline dyes as the seminovo styles of dolls, but the number of dolls per set are less. These dolls use rich and vibrant colors as opposed to the Seminovo and sergiev posad styles. Girl’s apron has dog-rose with petals. Russian women have a special love for motherhood and this flower symbolizes motherhood. The russian nesting dolls are lacquered post painting and the layers of dye are superimposed on one another.
Vyatka style – These collectible dolls are made in North Russia and thus display North Russian girl with timid smile. The paint is done by aniline dyes. The main difference in this style is the straw inlay. At first the dolls are painted and a base is applied. Then the straw inlay work is done to create designs. Designing is possible because straws are cut into various small pieces. Then they are dyed again and lacquer is applied to them. These dolls have very detailed painting even though straw is used as inlay.
Kirov style – The main feature of the Kirov style is that only females are depicted on dolls. Russian dolls do story telling, but here only females are displayed. Since Kirov is near to Vyatka, painting is done as per Vyatka style i.e. straw inlay based, and oil lacquered dolls.

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This article was written by Vikas Kapadia of Meena Handicrafts. is a wholesale matryoshka dolls and wooden toys website where you can find beautiful wooden dolls and toys of good quality.