In Old Russia, spinning was a constant task for women of all ages. Every home had a portable distaff, or spinning board, Old Russia's answer to the larger spinning wheel. The portability of the distaff allowed women to gather and socialize while spinning the thread they'd later weave into dress like the young lady on this nesting doll is wearing. Sporting her everyday chemise and beautiful sarafan dress, and topped by her kokoshnik headdress, this spinning beauty works away at her elaborately decorated distaff, making a ball of blue yarn. Open her up to see her displaying to the village ladies her recent accomplishments on the inner nesting dolls: a cheerful apron and hand towel, nearly completed embroidered pillow case, and a dainty handkerchief. Indeed, this Russian matyroshka celebrates the ancient peasant craft of spinning, and serves as a window into all-but-forgotten way of life. Treasure it!
One folk craft displaying another, this nesting doll was hand painted in St. Petersburg, Russia. Signed by the artist.