Rusalka (Русалка). Pre-revolutionary, Tsarist production - possibly unmarked Lukutin or Fedoskino. Mid to late 19th century. Oil, lacquer, hinged papier-mache box. Box in good condition, image in very good condition. 5⅛" x 3½" x 1⅞". 1 only.
The "rusalka" in Slavic folklore is a feminine benevolent spirit, often associated with water. Here she is a young girl. She is generally similar to a mermaid, and has counterparts in other parts of Europe, such as the French Melusine and the Germanic Nixie. In northern Russia, other names include vodyanitsa (водяни́ца) and kupalka (купа́лка). The term "rusalka" derives from Byzantine Greek "rousália" (Medieval Greek: ῥουσάλια), from the Latin "Rosālia", and is a name for Pentecost and the days adjacent to it. Thus she has pagan origins, likely attached to traditions which resulted in that time of year being associated with spirits of seduction.