Argentine Family. Very unusual matryoshka that resembles the antique pokerwork dolls from Sergiev Posad from the turn of the century. Excellent intricate details. 4 nest, 3¾" in height down to 1½". 1 only, as pictured.
The nesting doll here described has an unusual history. A small enterprising group of Russians who were displaced by World War II settled in Argentina after the war. One family, keepers of the flame at the time, created a modest workshop and began making a limited number of handicrafts, including matryoshka nesting dolls consisting of 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 pieces. These sets were like miniature jewels, made from indigenous birch-like wood and nicely decorated and painted. As quickly as these dolls came to the marketplace, they disappeared.
A fine example of "painting with fire", also known as pokerwork or pyrography. Refer to Collector's Guide to Nesting Dolls by Michele Lefkovitz, pg 150, 153-54.