Summer Troika (Летняя Тройка). In 1990, in Palekh, a young and up-and-coming artist (see short bio below) had just finished the painstakingly difficult process of painting this box. At that time, he worked in what was still the "USSR", as marked in gold on the bottom of the box. Simultaneously, just as Yuri Vitalievich was launching his career, the guiding central organization governing Palekh art was falling apart quickly (learn more from the link below). Today, examples of Yuri's output are sparse, but those found show that he had pulled away from the traditional "black background Palekh" and had adopted more of a Fedsoskino or Mstera "en plein" style.
The box is simply titled "Troika". A somber couple, seated in an elaborate coach drawn by a troika, look backward, perhaps in the process of saying their farewells. The driver, essentially a "cabbie" (изво́зчик), or perhaps a "coachman" (ямщи́к), is in the act of flicking his whip to start the carriage off onto it's journey. So now, it's up to the viewer to deduce the meaning of actions and to create a story. Honeymoon? End of the harvest? Start of a trip to the city?
Egg tempera, gold, lacquer, oval papier-mache, lidded (not hinged).. Approximately 3½" x 1¾" x 1". 1 only.
Learn more about Palekh here.