Matryoshka is the soul and evocation of Russia, the most famous and worldwide popular symbol of this country; the artwork is both sculptural and pictorial; it is a painted wooden toy in the form of a stacking doll with a set of wooden dolls similar to the external figure but of smaller size placed one inside another.
It is believed that the first doll was made by V. Zvezdochkin and S. Malyutin in 1890. It featured a peasant girl in an embroidered outfit with a colorful scarf on her head, holding a black cock in her hands. The girl was followed by a boy, all figures differed from each other, and the last, eighth one, was a baby in diapers. The toy got its name from the name Matryona popular at those time, which personified a simple pious girl, the mother of a large family, glowing with health.
An egg-shaped doll with a flat bottom consists of two detachable parts: an upper and a lower one. The traditional material for the manufacture of the toy are hardwood species, and the colors used for painting are multicolored gouache, ink, or aniline dyes. Wax for woodworking or transparent oil-based varnish are employed to protect the finished product.
A contemporary Matryoshka accumulates all the wealth of artistic traditions of the Russian Applied Arts. Its characteristic features are exceptional picturesqueness, brightness and festivity.
The postage stamp provides an image of Russian Matryoshka dolls.
In addition to the issue of the postage stamp, JSC Marka produced First Day Covers and special cancels for Moscow, St. Petersburg Veliky Novgorod, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Sevastopol and Tomsk; as well as a maxi-card and an illustrated envelope with postage stamps, a label and a First Day Cover with a cancel for Moscow.
Design Artist: V. Vatolina.
Face value: 19 rubles.
Stamp size: 37×37×50 mm, sheet size: 168×168 mm.
Emission form: a sheet with formatted margins with 18 (9 tête-bêche) stamps.
Quantity: 396 thousand stamps (22 thousand sheets).