Historical Origins of Toy Craft in Sergiev Posad 4
Bogorodskaya toy 5
A Variety of Types of Matryoshka Dolls: Research Work 8
A Molded Paper Toy 11
Sergiev Posad is the Capital of Toy Kingdom 12
The list of terms 14
Sergiev Posad is our native city and it is very interesting for us to learn some facts from its history. So, we tried to explore the historical heredity of the place where we live. We think people should know the history of their country, be proud of its great past and remember the words of Pavel Florensky: "Don't forget your relationship, your past, get to know your great parents and your great-great parents...Otherwise your life will be boring". At our English lessons we read and spoke a lot about the folk crafts of Sergiev Posad, studied the life of the most important people of Russia, painted toys, collected them and got interested in the history of Sergiev Posad very much. We are proud of our city and know much of its great past.
Historical Origins of Toy Craft in Sergiev Posad
Sergiev Posad is an old Russian town. It is situated 73 km from Moscow and was built up around the famous Trinity St. Sergius Monastery. In 1340 monk Sergius of Radonezh built a small church lost in the wild thick forest. Later it developed into the biggest monastery and the center of the Russian Orthodox Church. A lot of people come there to visit its sacred places and admire the beauty of the architectural ensemble of the Trinity St. Sergius Lavra.
Arts and crafts were flourishing in the towns and villages nearby. Wooden toys which were known as “Trinity” toys became very popular. According to the legend the first “Trinity” wooden toy was made by St. Sergius. He would carve “with his very knife in a sheath on the belt” birds and horses and would give them to children with blessing.
Researchers suppose that the art of toy – making, now famous all over Russia, was born in the Lavra’s wood-carving workshop in the 15-th century where the wise and crafty monk Amvrose created his toys. Samples of Amvrose’s work can be seen in the Lavra: vestry: panagias (round icons representing the Holy Virgin), carved crosses.
Sergiev Posad was a colorful, truly Russian town. The Monastery lent a unique peculiarity to it. The market place in front of the monastery was always full of different people: merchants, monks, pilgrims and craftsmen. The local legend says that Tatycha, the native deaf-and-dumb craftsman, once carved a lime doll and sold it to the merchant Erofeyev, who sold girdles by the monastery walls, for the decoration of his shop. Erofeyev paid 7 coins for the doll and sold it at a higher price. Moreover, the doll attracted attention to the merchant’s goods. So the merchant made an order for more dolls to Tatycha who had to recruit the apprentices to satisfy the demand for his toys.
Some people say that toys had been carved in the place much earlier. Snegiryov I. M. says that “ peasants of the settlements along the Trinity road sold to the Tsar and Tsarina bread, kalachi, pirozhki, bliny, cheese, kvas, beer, brazhku, honey, nuts, turnips, strawberries and some other vegetables and toys for fun for their sons”. By and by the toy craft of Sergiev Posad became the greatest in Russia and was based on ancient traditions coupled with the local school of applied arts. In some settlements nearest to Sergiev Posad toy craft began to develop. Hundreds of homesteads were involved in creating all types of toys, molded and turned on the lathe. The master- craftsmen of Sergiev Posad have been making toys since the 16-th century. The settlement Bogorodsk became one of the greatest places of toy -making. The first toys were a loshadka (a horsy) and a petrushka. ^
Bogorodsk is situated 22 km from Sergiev Posad. The development of its toy craft was connected with the history of Sergiev Posad.
People say that the history of Bogorodskaya toys starts with the following legend. Some poor peasant woman who had many kids made a doll from cloth rags. But it lasted only a few days. The kids ripped it into pieces. So she wove one from the straw. That one didn’t last very long either. So the woman carved a wooden toy “Auka” for them. They played with it quite for a long time, but eventually got bored with it and their father took it to the fair. He sold the doll to a merchant in Sergiev Posad. The merchant liked the toy and ordered several hundred of them. Since then most villagers became toymakers.
In former times the people from Bogorodsk made only different parts of toys for the toy craftsmen of Sergiev Posad who then they completed them. Later the craftsmen from Bogorodsk began to make toys “in belyo”, without painting them, and send them to the craftsmen of Sergiev Posad who painted and sold them. Very often they copied the models of the craftsmen of Sergiev Posad. The whole family was involved in handicraft. Making toys there was a family business where children and adults worked together. Each master carved his own type of toys: one would make animals, another one – troikas. The toys reflect the themes and subjects of everyday life. The main characters of Bogorodsk toys are birds and animals, especially the bear, the symbol of Russia. The village was known as Medvezhy Ugol (Bear’s Haunt) because of the thick woods surrounding it. Bogorodsk toys and carvings are made with great humor and skill. Wooden toy soldiers made here 300 years ago were played with by Peter the Great. The action of a twirling wooden ball on a string makes the bear perform actions, such as play the drums, play chess, or juggle balls. Some are activated by push button-button action. These carvings are appreciated by the children very much. Common scenes include “Two Bears Playing Chess”, “A Bear Taking a Shower”, “A Rabbit Rowing a Boat”, “A Bear Roasting Mushrooms”, “A Girl and Chickens”, “A Hungry Dog from Bogorodsk” and many others.
Statuettes are cut from the whole tree for which different forms of timber are prepared. A surface of finished products was smoothed out with emery paper. Women and children usually carried out this work. The finished carvings are never (seldom) painted and never decorated because the white wood provides warmth, which finished wood does not. Toys are cut from linden. Before it becomes a toy, it should get dry for two years.
Now toys are decorated with fretwork that covers the surface and decorates them. According to a tradition some parts of a toy are movable. It is achieved by various means. Some toys are fastened on supporting pedestals, and spring setting toys in motion is inserted inside them. Other toys are made on swinging laths (“Cavalry”, “Soldiers”, “Herd”). There are toys which movable parts are attached to threads with a heavy object. The latter swings and presses down a thread which sets in motion parts of the statuettes.
All toys have different features: elements of fairy tales, fable, sports and space, and all of them are funny. The image of a bear is traditional. It is portrayed to be a quiet, kind and ridiculous animal holding either a basket of mushrooms and berries, or an accordion. Sometimes it is depicted being deceived by a cunning man. Bogorods toys have plasticity of form. They look as if caught in motion. Very often people call them peasant toys.
Among the Bogorodsk toys movable playthings are of great interest. Suspended on planks, they are equipped with a balance or a button. In 1900 at the International Exhibition in Paris the works of S.D. Barashkov, a master from Bogorodsk, received an award. In 1902 he got a silver medal at an exhibition in St. Petersburg.
The hereditary toy-craftsman A.Y. Chushkin was among Bogorodsk craftsmen whose works were noted for good quality at the exhibitions of handicraft in Vladimir and Petersburg. In 1913 Chushkin was one of the organizers of an artel of Bogorodsk craftsmen and its director. He contrived a novel advanced variant of the "smiths" toy: smiths in turn striking an anvil with sledge-hammers by the forge with an unshod horse being led to them.
The most noted work of the craftsmen is considered the composition "Bogorodsk Carvers at Work" representing a peasant family involved in toy-making: a father and a son are cutting wooden chocks, little boy is grinding ready items, a young woman is spinning threads.
The best apprentice of Chushkin was N.I.Maksimov, Honored Artist of Russia. In 1927 the council of the best Bogorodsk master-craftsmen gave him an excellent grade for his graduation work, a sculpture "General Toptyguin" and recommended to keep the talented artist in the school as a teacher. Maksimov was awarded different prizes for his works at many Russian and international exhibitions.
One day the famous French sculptor Ogust Roden was given a popular Bogorodsk toy the “Smiths”. He always kept it with himself and when the group of Russian artists visited him, he showed them the toy and wondered: “Can many people in Russia contrive such a toy?”
Wonderful traditionally carved boxes from Bogorodsk are admired by people for their paintings and compositions. They are polychrome and complex. The main ornamental composition is drawn in the wood with a heated needle. This picture is painted in simple or complex color schemes, then coated with lacquer. Boxes depict seasons, troika sleigh rides, the countryside, street fair and Russian architecture. They are named and signed by the artists. ^
A Variety of Types of Matryoshka Dolls: Research Work
Matryoshka dolls, or nesting dolls, are, in the context of the Russian history, a relatively new phenomenon. They first appeared in 1899 in the city of Sergiev Posad. They were brought into Russia by merchants from Japan. But village artists adopted them very quickly and made them in a great variety of shapes. They were designed as toys for children. There were cone-shaped nesting dolls and nesting dolls with pointed heads. Some dolls took on the shape of the subject they depicted: a family without a father in peasant costumes, characters from different tales and novels, political figures, animals. There are some ethnographic matryoshkas: Gypsy Women, American Man and many others. Matryoshkas were molded and turned on a lathe.
The faces of the early matryoshkas of Sergiev Posad were oval and strict. The heads of many Matryoshkas were greatly enlarged. That’s why the face dominated the body. These dolls look primitive because of the disproportion, but at the same time they are very expressive. The matryoshka of Sergiev Posad consisted of 2 to 24 pieces. The most popular dolls consisted of 3, 8 and 12 pieces. In 1913 a 48-piece matryoshka made by N. Bulichev was displayed at the Exhibition of Toys in St. Petersburg.
Near the Lavra one can see a toy fair where different things made by craftsmen from Sergiev Posad can be bought.
^1. Traditional matryoshka from Sergiev Posad
The fist doll in the nest was a girl wearing a sarafan and a kerchief. She was called matryoshka after the Russian name Matryona. Each of these dolls has got an apron and a kerchief of not coinciding colours. The big matryoshka is about 9 cm. high, the smallest one is about 1 cm.
^2. Sergievskaya matryoshka with a basket
In Sergiev Posad, which is in the forest region, people have always liked to paint matryoshka-dolls with berries or baskets full of bright berries. This tradition still exists.
3. Big Traditional matryoshka Marina from Sergiev Posad
It was a long-established tradition in Russian toy-making trade to manufacture hollow wooden dolls, one inserted into the other. Put in a row, the dolls are all many coloured and different. The big matryoshka is from 13 cm high, the smallest one is about 2 cm.
4. Matryoshka Rowan
This is a beautiful wooden hand-painted matryoshka-doll from Sergiev Posad. Wearing a spring of Rowan protected from charms.
^5. Uncommon Matryoshka Mummy
This toy is unusual. Several dolls have "hairy". The idea is that Matryoshka dolls represent the motherhood. This set includes a grandma, a grandson, a granddaughter, a dog and a cat.
6. Matryoshka Whistle
It is a wooden hand-painted whistle of traditional shape. It develops children lungs, breath rhythm and ear for music.
7. Cork-tumbler with the burned-in pattern Boyarinya
A musical matryoshka-nevalyashka (a doll originally called Vanka-Vstanka with a weight attached to the base which makes it always to recover its upright position). It is an ancient Russian toy.
^8. Nesting doll of Sergiev Posad Angel
Religious motifs in Russian matryoshka paintings are connected with the fact that this sort is deeply rooted in Old Russian iconographic traditions. Very often the painter concentrated mainly on the figure, face of the person. This tradition of the Old Russian art came from Byzantium where this technique came from ancient Rome.
^9. 500 Years of Romanovs
The smallest doll represents the founder of the dynasty- Mikhail Feodorovich-born in 1596. He is followed by Catherine 1, born in 1684. Peter 3 (the middle doll), born in 1728 was married to Catherine the Great. Next is Alexander 2, born in 1818. And finally, the end of the Romanovscame in 1917 when Nicholas 2 was, together with his family, shot on July 17, 1917. So here, in a nutshell, are 5 centuries of the Romanov rulers.
^10. Matryoshka Kolobok We can see the characters from the famous Russian tale for children.
11. Repka (the Turnip) Matryoshka Doll
You will find the whole tale inside a wooden doll. This set includes six characters; the Grandpa, the Grandmother, the Granddaughter, the dog, the cat and the mouse.
^12. Matryoshka Thimble
It is very small and is mainly used as a souvenir.
Matryoshka - Pencil
Carousel with matryoshkas
This handmade toy amuses children while helping to develop a game with a plot and imagination in a playful environment.
The traditional Sergiev Posad nesting doll came into existence in the mid-1920s. It was based on the first nesting doll painted by Sergei Malyutin. His doll was a girl in a national dress, sometimes holding a small object in her hands - a chicken, a basket, a bundle, a scarf. Matryoshka is a beautiful Russian national souvenir with Russian traditions and history. This wooden doll decorates any place. It keeps the warmth of the hands of the craftsman. You can see lots of them in the Toy Museum in Sergiev Posad and also buy them in shops. ^
A Molded Paper Toy
A molded paper toy (papier-mache) appeared and immediately became popular at the beginning of the 19th century. It was made with ready wooden billet-models carved by the best craftsmen. The billets were pasted with paper and left to dry, next the paper form was cut into two parts and glued again. Then it was primed, sanded, and finally coated with a thick layer of varnish. This long and painstaking process required participation of all family members. The methods were passed from generation to generation. The modeled toys were conspicuous for their variety. In the late 19th century in Sergiev Posad 7000 specimens existed. These unique toys are to be seen in the museum of Sergiev Posad. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries a massive campaign for preserving popular art and toy craft was launched in Russia. Artists and historians started private toy collections. In that period the first toy exhibitions were held in 1890 and 1909.
Diverse toy crafts appeared at different times and were shaped under different historic conditions. Their development was influenced by the density of population, economy, and location of a particular settlement. Each area had its own toy school. Toy masters of different districts had their own secrets and certain techniques concerning both mechanical and artistic side of the industry. Professional craftsmen established their own schools which made it so easy to identify clay figurines from Kargopol, Tula, and Vyatka, wooden toys from the suburbs of Nizhni Novgorod and the village of Bogorodsk of the Moscow region. ^
Sergiev Posad is the Capital of Toy Kingdom
Now Sergiev Posad is called the capital of the toy kingdom. The Toy Museum was established in Moscow in 1918 by the artist N.D. Bartman. In 1921 it was transferred to Sergiev Posad. The depositories of the museum boast 30,000 exhibits, among which are the toys found in archeological collections from Oriental countries and Western Europe, popular toys made of wood, clay and papier-mashe toys.
The play-pretties illustrate various subjects: merry-go-rounds with moving figures of horsemen, a glutton devouring with a bear, a guide with a bear, a girl on a swing, dancers, musicians.
From the old times there existed a doll, a ball, a toy horse. Over the centuries they remain favourite things for children. A toy horse, which came to us from the ancient days, carries his “pedigree” from cult horses, the representation of which was obligatory at the pagan rituals. The trotting of a horse symbolized for ancient Slavs the sun rolling in the sky, and that is why the sun was represented in the image of a horse. In later times some of the craftsmen painted their toy horses in red – this is the reminder of the myths about the horse-sun. The pagan legends were echoed in poems of Sergei Esenin:
“Descend appear Red Horse,
Harness thyself in Shafts of Earth…”
«Словно я весенней гулкой ранью
Проскакал на розовом коне»
In the late 19th century a mass production of toys shaped on a lathe was launched in Sergiev Posad. The most noted among them were matryoshkas. Matryoshka of Sergiev Posad is celebrated as the best Russian souvenir.
The museum boasts a rich assortment of wooden toys from the neighboring village of Bogorodsk. The favorite personage of these toys is a funny bear. A wide assortment of toys from Filimonovskoye in the Tula region is on show.
Clay toys are represented by remarkably warm and bright figurines from the Dymkovskaya settlement near Vyatka. Clay dolls from Filimonovskoye are decorated with extraordinary rhythmically alternating stripes of green, yellow, and red. The toys from Kargopyl of the Arkhangelsk region, Skopino and Vyrkovo of the Ryazan region, porcelain figurines from Verbilki of the Moscow region are displayed in the museum. With the passage of time dolls gradually changed, becoming movable.
The toy collection displays various types of playthings. The toys are made with love and they can be ranged among the fine samples of the Russian applied arts. The museum is very interesting to visit for children and grown-ups.
Papier-mache- папье-маше. Популярная лепная бумажная игрушка, т.е. из папье-маше, появилась в начале 19 века. Деревянные «болвашки» обклеивали бумагой, сушили, бумажную форму резали на две части и склеивали. Потом грунтовали, шкурили и окрашивали. Под конец густо покрывали лаком.
Icon- икона- (от греч. Eikon – образ, изображение) проникновение в мир сверхъестественный через предмет материального мира.
Cross- крест- главный знак христиан. Это символ спасения. Когда мы крестимся, мы как бы связываем в себе все злое, подтверждаем свою верность Богу и готовность бороться со своими недостатками. Крест творит жизнь, оживляет нашу душу.
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