Also each city or region has a color that they’re known for, for example, the one above is the blue of St. Petersburg, while Moscow is known for red matrushka dolls.
In the back of the main section of Izmaylovo Market there’s a path leading to another section, where the Disney-live turrets were, there was this guy selling the really unique matrushka dolls, instead of buying five or seven almost exact replicas, each were individually different. My friend talked to him and found out that these matrushka dolls were uber-traditional and his wife runs a craft school that specializes in making them. She had actually studied the long-forgotten traditions of what the traditional matrushkas looked like. Everything was done by hand, he even helped out by finely hand sanding the dolls.
I would have posted this a while ago, but I decided to wait until I could get into my old office so I could scan the information, because I really can’t read the husband’s handwriting too well. But the scanner was broken and then I remembered that I could take a picture of it, crop, and upload, just as good as a scan. So if you ever want an uber-traditional matrushka doll: call Sveltvana at:
When buying matrushka dolls a few important notes:
- Check all of the dolls before you actually buy them, there can be funny faces (I saw one with possessed looking eyes), bad paint jobs, scratches, non-matching dolls, etc.
- The rounder ones can hold more dolls but if you have a smaller one, the smallest may look like a colored pencil lead.
- Don’t immediately buy one from the first vendor that you see, the chances are good that you’ll find the same exact one or one extremely similar to the one that you like at another booth for a lower price.
- The vendors are more than willing to bargain. With the exception of the last guy (the one with the uber traditional matrushkas, he never budged on price but he had lower prices to begin with and much better matrushkas dolls as well) I never said anything and they were already lowering the prices.
- If you’re not interested in traditional matrushka dolls, you can find ones with world leaders, communist leaders, famous people, variety of athletes, like: