Styles of Nesting Dolls

They are beautiful!  They are unique!  They are colorful!  The variety is immense!  But, is there a way to tell where your doll is from given its style?  Well, for some, the answer is a resounding “yes”!


Sergeiv PosadOne of our most popular dolls is the semenovskaya nesting doll.  It has a distinctive style, with interchanging red body and yellow head, and generally a simple flower or berry pattern on its belly.  It is one of the most recognized styles coming from Russia.  Its origins is from the Semenov region of Russia.  The region was highly settled in the 1600s by Russian “old believers” and is the region where not only the popular semenovskaya doll originated, but also Khokhloma wood art.


Sergeiv Posad

Sergeiv PosadRussian nesting dolls from Sergeiv Posad – a very holy city in Russia – come in multiple, but relatively traditional, styles.  You will dolls whose art is based on burned wood, dolls where the typical scarf surrounds the head with some lofts of hair showing and colorful flowers on the doll’s bosom, and some of the more intricate fairy tale-based dolls.



Polkhov-MaidanThese Russian nesting dolls combine a variation of semenovskaya and Sergeiv Posad traditional styles.   This style from the village of Polkhovsky Maidan can be found in all sorts of Russian crafts and traditional folk clothing.  The style combines gold filigree and and a type of wood tanning to give it the distinct colors.  These are a favorite, competing with semenovskaya for the traditional look at a very inexpensive price (where dolls from Sergeiv Posad tend to be more expensive).

You may be wondering where the more nontraditional dolls come from, such as sport nesting dolls, cartoon-based dolls, and others.  Some come from artists within these regions that are filling a niche for the demand for these types.  Some are from very independent doll makers.  The three styles above are most prominent and it wouldn’t be surprising if one of your dolls are specifically from one of these places.

Published on October 27, 2014.

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