Brest "Red Shawl" Maidens Nesting Doll. A vintage Brest matryoshka with a domestic paper label on the bottom of the first doll. Bright and unusual colors with lots of raised dots which add texture to each piece. Excellent condition. 7 nest, 5¼" to ¾". Early 1990's. 1 only, as shown.
Dolls from Brest were labeled "Made in the USSR" when Belarus was part of the Soviet empire. Brest (formerly Brest-Litovsk) is a city at the border of Poland. For a long time, the Brest Matryoshka factory was a prolific production center for unusual nesting dolls. They used birch wood instead of the more traditional and softer linden, and were painted in bright colors. Dolls could either have a glossy or a matte lacquer. Several American importers, including Shelmar of NJ (now defunct), had a considerably important relationship with the factory and helped to design specialty dolls for the market.