Shawl Maiden Matryoshka Nesting Doll. A vintage Brest matryoshka with the red and gold "Made in the USSR" paper label on the bottom of the first doll. Near fine, no cracks, but some minor wear due to age. 3½" in height. 1 only, as shown.
Brest (formerly Brest-Litovsk) is a city in Belarus at the border of Poland. Dolls from Brest were labeled "Made in the USSR" during the time Belarus was part of the USSR. For a long time, the Brest Matryoshka factory was quite the prolific production center for unusual matryoshkas. Their dolls use birch wood, instead of the more traditional, and softer, linden wood, and are painted in bright colors. Dolls can either be glossy lacquer or matte lacquer. Several significant importers, including Shelmar Imports of NJ, had a direct relationship with the factory and even helped to design some of the specialty dolls for the American market.