Lubava Waits for Sadko (Любава Ожидает Садко). Fedoskino, 1988. Box in like new condition. Hinged papier-mache, oils, lacquer, gold leaf, mother of pearl. 4" x 2" x 1¼". In practically new condition. Signature of the artist, date and "Fedoskino". (Fedoskino artists chose to sign their works in a color complementary to the painting, which blends in with it and makes it difficult at times to make out the signature.) 1 only.
Not represented very well in the photos is that this box has the classic mother of pearl luminosity that enhances the scene. Boxes of this calibre commanded high prices during the middle and late 1980's.
Sadko is a poor musician from Novgorod whose talents are unappreciated by the merchants of the city. He strikes a Faustian Pact with Tsar Morskoi, King of the Sea, who helps Sadko find the magic golden fish in Lake Ilmen. By winning the bet, Sadko becomes wealthy, constructs a breathtaking palace and marries the lovely Lubava. Unfortunately, Sadko chooses to ignore Tsar Morskoi who forces Sadko down to his kingdom to play beautiful melodies on his gusli. This causes the Sea Tsar to dance in delight, which causes ships to sink. Sadko escapes the underwater kingdom and returns to the banks of Lake Ilmen where Lubava gazes from the cliff, expectantly waiting for his return.