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Item #0000100590

Russian Winter (1999)

from Palekh by A. Shemarov
3.63" x 3.75" x 6.63"(9.00 x 9.50 x 17.00 cm)

Gallery Price: $ 1895.00
Internet Price: $ 1750.00
None currently available
This impressive-looking Palekh miniature is in an unusual shape: it has the form of a chair! Most of the sides feature different scenes of Russian youths enjoying the snow and cool weather, while the back is adorned by a rich and elegant gold filigree pattern. On the upper part of the chair, a lad and two young girls are making snowmen. The lad is putting the finishing touches on the jolly looking fellow they've created, while the girl behind him has a big snowball to use to make a new snowman. Meanwhile, another boy is sledding, while a cute white dog capers in the foreground; it's almost possible to hear him barking cheerfully. The side on the left shows a snowball fight between a trio of children. With a number of snowballs flying through the air and some more in the children's hands, the action seems to be fast and furious! Once again, a dog is joining in the fun, and another snowman looks on. The front of the box shows a boy pushing a girl in a sled. But they better look out: another boy is skiing past, with a snowball in his raised hand... The right-hand side shows a lad skiing and a couple more children sledding. The boy in the background is about to ride under a hurdle made of ski-poles. Again, a snowman watches the scene. (Shemarov draws really appealing snowmen, with round happy faces and rosy cheeks.)The seat of the chair depicts a view of the village, with some boys playing hockey on a frozen pond, two women chatting by the well, and a couple enjoying a sleigh ride in the distance. The buildings of the village are drawn nicely here, especially the impressive-looking church whose belfry towers over the village. The cupolas of some smaller churches or monasteries peek over the hills just outside the town.

Each scene has a lot of fine detail. Even in the scenes set in snow-covered fields outside the village, little wooden houses are visible, some of them with smoke rising from their chimneys to add a cozy touch to the work. SOme scenes also show little haystacks piled up in the field. There is some fine gold and silver painting, as one would expect from a good quality Palekh miniature. But what really makes this work stand out is the lively high spirits of the scenes. There is such a sense of fun in this miniature, it invites the viewer to share in the pleasant feelings. There is a nice balance between the drawing and the negative space created by the black lacquer, and elegant gold ornaments give the work a sophisticated, completed look.

Sometimes boxes that are done in unusual shapes like this aren't of the best quality material, but this one is made of high-quality papier-mache, with a hinge on the back of the seat so that it opens. The box rests on four feet. The work is signed on back with the artist's name, village, and year (1999). Though this box is a few years old, it is still in excellent shape, comparable with works done in the last year or so. Very appealing work!--BOX1084

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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