Troika (Summer). Vishnyakov workshop, circa 1880. Hinged papier mache, miniature painting, varnish, silvered. Well preserved with some wear to corners, small scratch near wagon's wheel, other light marks, light crackelature due to ageing, some spotting to the silvered interior of the box. 6¾" x 4½" x 2".
In Russian an inscription can found. "Дяде Косте от Тане" and "С. П. Б. Окт 1915г." (To Uncle Kostya from Tanya" and S(t). (P)eters (B)urg Oct(ober) 1915." (Obviously the person gifting the box was unwilling to write the newly renamed "Petrograd".)
The Visnnyakov double side seal with factory name and laurel branch is at the top center of the lid and, while very worn, can be distinguished when held correctly in a bright light. Boxes produced in this time period were not signed by the artist.
Osip Fillipovich Vishnyakov founded his workshop in the village of Ostashkovo in the 1780's. The business prospered in the 1860's through the end of the century. The many beautiful papier-mache products were intended for the public at large to decorate people's households and to be displayed and used on writing-desks, dressing-tables and very often as desirable gifts. In 1910 artists who worked for Vishnyakov formed the Fedoskino Artel.