"Moscow Kremlin" by Piala. Sergiev Posad carved box. Pokerwork and painted decoration with intricate carved sides and dark stain wood. Hinged lid. 8" x 4½" x 2½".
Pokerwork, also known as pyrography, has been around for 500 years as a decorative element. It was in the late 19th century that painting combined with pokerwork became popular. The main ornamental composition is drawn in the wood with a heated needle. This picture is painted in simple or complex color schemes, then lightly coated with lacquer. Common themes include Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius, with its powerful and ancient fortress walls from the 15th-18th centuries. Other compositions depict folk festivals, fairy tales, and village themes.