Lacquered Miniature Boxes & Jewelry - Artistic Treasure
Russian lacquer boxes were first produced in the late 18th century and have since become popular with art collectors worldwide.
The authentic Russian lacquer box uses traditional techniques and materials by an artist trained in one of the four official schools: Fedoskino, Palekh, Mstera, and Kholui. One must apply and be accepted to study at these schools; basic training requires four years. Their work was graded with strict quality control, after which apprenticeship began. The lacquer artists may work for the official workshop or independently. Therefore, a factory seal or certificate is no longer a determining factor to authenticity as many fine artists now work from their homes.
These miniature works of art are hand-painted and handmade, making each a unique, inspired creation. Techniques for producing authentic Russian lacquer boxes have remained the same for 150 years. Boxes and other objects are made of cardboard sheets, pressed and formed, then boiled in linseed oil. This papier-mache is then baked in an oven. At this point, the material can be worked like wood. Trained joiners assemble the boxes, applying hinges and two coats of primer paint. The blank is then oven dried and given to the artist to begin the painting. Extremely fine brushes are used to achieve the fine lines and details in each painting. Artists prefer to make their own brushes and mix their own pigments. A quality lacquer miniature may take several months to complete.
All are original works of art, signed by the artist. There are four categories of painting to be considered, and quality varies among all these categories:
- One-of-a-kind compositions.
- Limited editions by a single artist.
- All artists can use "Factory" compositions.
- Reproductions from original works on canvas.
The art of Russian lacquer miniature painting has gained worldwide appreciation, and these miniature treasures are highly sought after by collectors.