Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius Tower Box (Троице-сергиев монастырь сергиев посад). A slim spire sits atop a round box with scenes depicting the fortress walls, ornamental cupolas and churches. Sergiev Posad (formerly Zagorsk) is the oldest center for the production of wooden dolls and toys in Russia. Since the beginning of the 20th century, and during the Soviet period the "Zagorsk toy factory number 1" made traditional dolls as well as matryoshka nesting dolls and finely crafted wooden boxes. One of the most favorite themes for decoration was the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius (Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius) with its powerful fortress walls and church architecture. This most important monastery is the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church.
In our experience, this is a somewhat uncommon box. 7" tall, 3½" diameter at the base. There is some mild scuffing at the top and the spire has been re-glued a couple of times. Overall condition is about fine. Probably made in the late 1960's to mid 1970's at "Zagorsk Toy Factory No. 1". Square light purple stamp with "Загорская фабрика игрушек № 1" at the bottom of the box.
Pokerwork, also known as pyrography, has been around for 500 years as a decorative element. It was in the late 19th century that painting combined with pokerwork became popular. The main ornamental composition is drawn in the wood with a heated needle. This picture is then painted in simple or complex color schemes, then coated with lacquer. Common themes include Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius, with its powerful and ancient fortress walls from the 15th-18th centuries. Other compositions depict folk festivals, fairy tales, and village themes.