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Item #0000100542

Russian Winter Tales (2003)

from Palekh by A. Smirnov
4.25" x 3.25" x 3.50"(10.60 x 8.30 x 9.00 cm)
Inspired by the fairytales:
By the Pikes Will
Old Man Winter--Morozko
Silver Hoof
The Snowmaiden

Gallery Price: $ 925.00
Internet Price: $ 875.00
None currently available
This medium-sized, traditional Palekh box features fine drawings on all four sides as well as the lid. The artist here is A. Smirnov, a respected artist with an attractive, traditional style. (His daughters, Tatyana and Vera Smirnova, by contrast, are well-known for their innovative and unique art.) Each scene shows a scene from a different Russian fairy tale. The title character appears before a childless older couple and announces she has come to be their daughter. Her real parents, Spring and Winter, watch from the trees on the left. The front of the box shows a scene from the tale By the Pike's Will. The sides show the stories of Silver Hoof and Old Man Winter. The back shows a tale called The Cunning Vixen, about a fox who manages to cheat a fisherman out of his fish.

Each of these scenes is very nicely drawn. Smirnov does a good job with the faces of his characters, making them well-proportioned and expressive. (For example, the fox has a very sly little smile as she steals the fisherman's catch; this is a completely different character from the fox in the Old Man Winter, who has a curious but trustworthy look, almost like a dog). Smirnov is no longer a young man, and his style in the background is more painterly than ultra-precise, with bold spots of color and strong brushstrokes creating the details. This suits his style and works quite well for the compositions, however -- it doesn't look sloppy or unfinished. There are pretty good details in each scene, created both with egg tempera and metallic gold and aluminum paint. The box is made from high-quality papier-mache, with no hinge and four legs. It is signed with the artist's name, village, title of each panel and year (2003). If you have been looking for a classic style, five-sided Palekh box to add to your collection, this would be a nice choice.

Lacquerbox Condition Ratings

Surface Condition (exterior) Surface Condition (interior/bottom) Box Materials and Soundness Hinge and Lid Placement Signature Total Rating Mother-of-pearl Condition

(Each category rated 1-10. For low scores, look for explanation in the description of box. In general, any total rating over 40 is excellent. For more information on rating system, click here.)

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