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Collectible Nesting Dolls from Kirov, Vyatka and Nolinsk

Posted by The Russian Gift Shop on Jul 5th 2018

Matryoshka Dolls from Kirov, Vyatka, and Nolinsk

In 1780, Catherine the Great renamed the ancient town of Khlynov, in existence since 1374, to Vyatka. It stayed that way until 1934 when it was named after Sergey Kirov (1886-1934), a prominent Communist Party leader. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the name of the city remains Kirov, whereas many institutions (the university, for example), bear the former name of Vyakta.

Vyatka (sometimes Viatka) matryoshka dolls first appeared in 1924. Any doll from that era is very rare. In 1937, the Progress Artel was organized in the villages of Vakhrino and Ovcharnoye to produce wooden toys. By 1938, the production of dolls became more organized, but examples still remain scarce. In 1960, the Kirov factory of wood-turning toys was organized. At the end of 1963, the Kirov factory entered the Vyatka production association, becoming "shop number 3". In 1968, the technology of painting with aniline dyes was mastered. Twenty years later shop number 3 modernized and the "Kirov Souvenir Factory" became an independent enterprise. In 1993, in connection with privatization, the factory was transformed into a limited liability partnership (LLP). That same year, a competition was announced for the development of new types of products. Two years later, under new ownership, modern painting techniques were developed, including potal, watercolor, and acrylics, which continues to this day.

The residents of Nolinsk and surrounding villages also began to paint matryoshkas as far back as in the 1930's. It distinguished itself 30 years later with rye straw incrustations. Today Nolinsk dolls are produced by the offshoots of the Kirov souvenir factory.

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