Russian dolls

In the December 14th New Yorker, this cartoon by Liam Francis Walsh:


A Russian doll, from a set of nesting dolls, is unwrapping a Christmas gift box, from a set of nested gift boxes. Lovely wordless cartoon, though of course it depends on your recognizing Russian dolls.

From Wikipedia:

A matryoshka doll (Russian: матрёшка; … matrëška), also known as a Russian nesting doll, or Russian doll, refers to a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another. The name “matryoshka” …, literally “little matron”, is a diminutive form of Russian female first name “Matryona” (Матрёна) …

The first Russian nested doll set was made in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk crafts painter at Abramtsevo. Traditionally the outer layer is a woman, dressed in a sarafan, a long and shapeless traditional Russian peasant jumper dress. The figures inside may be of either gender; the smallest, innermost doll is typically a baby turned from a single piece of wood.


A family of seven Russian dolls

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