"Snowmaiden" Desk Ink Set. A. Maslov, Mstera. 1952. An unusual desk set consisting of two attached ink and wax jars with lids, a notepaper holder and a blotter. All of the items are papier-mache and decorated with egg tempera and gold paintings. The desk stand has four raised corner feet. 14" x 7½" x 2½". 1 only. Note: this is a vintage set over 60 years old that has some light rubbing, bumps, a few scratches and small corner chips to both the blotter and paper holder. Also a blob of hardened sealing wax next to the jar on the right. Overall very good condition.
The Tale of the Snowmaiden (aka Snegurochka) is very well known in the Russian fairy tale canon. The main scene on the panel depicts Lel, the Shepherd Boy playing his flute and tending to his herd. The Snowmaiden, whose love for him is unrequited, is visible in the distance. A second painting, on the paper holder, shows Lel standing amongst the flock. And thirdly, a radiant flower is painted on the blotter. The colors are vivid in the mid-century Mstera egg tempera style with color emphasis on blue, red, yellow and green. There is a great deal of freehand gold border ornamentation on each piece.