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Miniature Art from Palekh, Mstera and Fedoskino

Attractive and affordable, these Russian brooches make unique gifts for mothers, wives, nieces and grandmothers. Treat them to something special on Valentine's Day, Easter, a wedding and birthdays, as well as Mother's Day and Christmas. They'll certainly be the "belles of the ball"!

These brooches, buttons and pins are beautiful miniature oil and egg tempera paintings done by highly talented Russian artists. Several centuries ago, miniatures achieved great status in the art world. Russian masters learned special techniques from England, Italy, and other great art centers. Subject matter came from classical and folk tale painting and included portraiture of the 18th-19th centuries.

The production techniques include the several applications of paint, each fully dried, and then coated with a transparent lacquer. Each piece is finished off by polishing and buffing. In expert hands, colors are rich and the finished piece shimmers and glows. Painting is done on papier-mache, mother-of-pearl, or wood and can be inset into a handmade metal surround. Mother-of-pearl, both from fresh-water sources and the river, produces a dramatic quality. Gold, silver, bronze, and aluminum powders are frequently mixed with oils and tempera paints. Many times the clasp is a safety pin embedded into the papier-mache or an old-fashioned Victorian-styled pin back. Each piece serves multiple functions: first, as affordable and wearable art, second, it can be framed as a miniature, and third, as an heirloom to pass on from generation to generation. Each piece is may be signed by the artist and we add a gift box for an elegant presentation.

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