The origin of Matryoska is still a mystery. Whether its prototype was Egyptian sarcophagus, or Japanese doll, or it had always been a Russian doll - there is not one opinion.
Its manufacturing started in 1890 in a suburb around Moscow.
A woodcarver Vasiliy Zvyozdochkin, guided by the sketch of the artist Sergey Malutin,
carved by hand the 8-piece wooden doll,
which later in the artist’s hands turned into a round-faced beauty in variegated kerchief and
festive sarafan and with a black rooster in her hands; the next doll held a sickle;
the following was holding bread; a little brother in a bright shirt was among dolls as well.
Matryona was one of the most popular names as a variation of the name Maria.
Later it changed to the coquettish name Matryoshka.
The very first matryoshka doll is housed in the Sergiev Posad Toy Museum.
Since 1890 the doll became so popular as to become the symbol of Russia abroad.
It is known that in Nuremberg, Germany, the company of Albert Gerh and a lath operator, Johannes Wilde, forged Russian nesting dolls.
Later in France, the situation repeated. But nowhere except for Russia matryoshka survived.
Its world triumph started at the exhibition in Paris in 1900, and by 1911 the orders for Russian nesting doll were received from 14 countries.
There are several conventional canons for the matryoshka named after the places where they had appeared: Semyonovo, Polkhovsky Maidan, Zagorsk and some others.
They differ in their form and painting, which is rather simple in any case, and are produced by factories in considerable number at price lower than designer’s items.
The unique designer’s nesting dolls were created even by sophisticated and famous artists.
From the beginning of Perestroika the production of non-traditional author’s nesting dolls became the mass one, adding contemporary styles and fashions to an old idea.
Now matryoshka is a well-known brand, strongly associated with Russian culture.