Merriment (Веселье). Late 20th century Zagorsk Artel production. The decorative elements on this detailed painted and carved box includes seven persons, each in a Russian folk costume. The musicians play a bayan, a balalaika and keep time by clapping hands. The girls are encouraged to join in the merriment. Village houses rise up from the distance. This is a fine complex box that is a good example of late Soviet Russian decorative art. 6¾"x 6¾"x 2¼". The box is in fine, almost new condition and is a highlight of Zagorsk Artel "kustar" style experimental production in its late-period peak.
Cottage industry “kustar” workers (Кустарная промышленность) was important for rural peasants and their families in parts of Russia starting in the 16th century and developed extensively during the 19th century, producing a wide range of arts and crafts in wood, textile, and metal. Some of the more solid enterprises ended up forming cooperatives.