Lacquer boxes are what made the Russian
souvenir industry famous.
The miniature painting shown on these paper-mache boxes is known worldwide and has made the boxes a hot collector's item. Making these boxes is very complex and a well-kept secret.
Even though in e.g. the Fedoskino-school you may visit the rooms, where artists paint the boxes, you will never be allowed in the factory-part of the school. There they make the paper-mache boxes, insert the mother-of-pearl pieces in the boxes and run them through the lacquering process after the paintings are finished. All they will tell you, is that each box has been lacquered fifteen times, having been polished after every third layer of lacquer!
**Let me tell you something about the artist's efforts to make a living: 1. they travel to the school (sometimes up to 4-5 hours one way) to pick up 10 paper-mache boxes; 2. they travel back home to paint the boxes; 3. they travel back to school & leave the boxes there; 4. after 2-3 weeks they travel back to school again to pick up 4 of the boxes, that have in the meantime been lacquered - which is the artist's reward for painting the other six; 5. they now have to rent a stall to try & sell those four boxes, before they see any money!**
Do you still wonder, why these boxes are not so cheap....?
The collection of "De MiniLaars" consists of many different boxes, varying in school, shape and size, but all of them unique. The bigger boxes I buy in Russian shops or "out on the street"; the 1/12 scale jewel boxes and most of the other small ones have been exclusively made & handpainted for me and therefore many of them are one of a kind.
The pictures show only some of the boxes that I have in stock. You can see these and many others at one of the shows I attend. Or if you contact me, I will be glad to advise you.
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