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Christmas 2018 Catalog

Product Lines

Barton Theater Organ

Wee Forest Folk

Vera Bradley


Russian Art

Our Store



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Russian Art
photo of russian art

Make sure to join us for our annual trunk show each fall as we welcome David Markhasin of Swan Lake Studios. David brings a large assortment of one-of-a-kind pieces of Russian Art. Call 269-781-5923 with any questions.

The Mole Hole of Marshall has carried Russian Art in the form of lacquer boxes, Matryoshka (stacking) dolls, hand- carved and painted santas, Icons and other figurines for many years. Our vendor travels to Russia each year to find the products we carry. Each item is hand made, and many of the items are one-of-a-kind. The items we carry usually run from around $10 up to $5,000.

Lacquer boxes feature intricately hand-drawn miniature paintings based on a variety of themes, including fairy tales, poems, landscapes,country life, troikas, battle scenes, and old art masterpieces. They get their name from the many layers of lacquer (most often, black and red) that are applied to both their outside and inside sections. Coats of clear lacquer, or varnish, are the last layers to be put on and provide a stunning shine to the box. Lacquer boxes come in a variety of sizes and shapes (see photo above) and are extremely well crafted. It can take as long as two months to make a box out of papier-mache, a material many artists prefer because of its ability to withstand changes in atmospheric conditions and to avoid cracking. The lacquer box you have today will likely be enjoyed by many generations.

The nesting doll, or "Matryoshka" in Russian, is a hand-painted set of wooden dolls which are nestled into one another. Appearing in Russian in the 1890's, Matryoshka dolls were originally a peasant toy. The name matryoshka has the latin root "mater" (mother) and these dolls are considered as symbols of motherhood. In 1900, the Russian matryoshka was presented at the Paris World Exhibition and has been popular ever since. Craftsmen make these dolls from birch trees and perform 15 operations until the doll is ready. The dolls are made in many areas of Russia and the former USSR, with the village of Sergiev Posad being one of the more famous producing areas. Traditional matryoshka dolls are individually hand-drawn and are each a unique piece of creativity.



The Mole Hole, 150 W. Michigan Ave., Marshall, MI 49068 269-781-5923