Straw Inlay Matryoshka Doll. Kirov Straw Inlay Maidens made in the Kirov factory in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Over a hundred tiny pieces of colored straw were inlaid into every doll in both flower and geometric patterns. The straw is a special variety of rye harvested with a scythe, then boiled in a potassium solution to achieve the color of gold. Then each cut-into-shape piece is painstakingly fastened and finished with an oil lacquer, thus becoming a marvel of Russian folk art! 6 nested, 4⅜" to 1⅛". 1 only, as shown.
This doll has lots of extra detail, including straw collars on the first two dolls. Made in the Kirov Production Association "Viatka" for the production of toys (Кировское производственное объединение "Вятка" по выпуску игрушек). City of Kirov. Kirov Souvenir Factory. Purple ink "Made in USSR" export stamp on the bottom of the first doll.
Condition note: light wear, but still attractive, as these dolls are becoming scarcer, and current production is expensive.