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Bogorodskaya Toy
Another innovation in toy making made by S. Ulasevich was to start shaping a wooden figurine by turning and to finish it with subsequent hand carving. In this approach many of the forgotten skills of the Sergiev craftsmen were revived. Initially the Bogorodskaya toy makers intensely deplored the innovating techniques introduced by Berkutov and Ulasevich to painting of wooden toys. The toys designed by the contemporary toy craftsmen, such as the "Toy-maker" figurine made by S.A. Pautov, successfully incorporate the traditions of wood carving and painting typical of the Bogorodskaya toy style and the Sergiev style.

In the Soviet period the traditional matryoshka doll was the primary product of the Toy Factory No. 1 in the town of Zagorsk (Sergiev Posad carried this name between 1930 and 1992). The painting styles and the color schemes of the matryoshka dolls were increasingly standardized by the state-owned factory compared to the wide variety of dolls produced by the many private workshops in Sergiev Posad in the recent past. The standardization was a gradual process, however, and in the first years of the Soviet period many original doll styles were still preserved.

The matryoshka dolls from Sergiev Posad were always exhibited at the widely attended annualSemenov toys fairs in Nizhni Novgorod. That was where the wood turner A. Mayorov purchased a doll. When he returned to his home village Merinovo near the town of Semenov in the Nizhni Novgorod region he manufactured a copy of it, primed the surface with starch and used a goose feather to paint it with aniline dyes. He continued making the dolls and charged his daughters with painting them. When a prominent painter P. Kuznetsov was passing through Merinovo he was interested in a new doll type. He designed a rose-like flower ornament for decorating the doll and many matryoshka dolls manufactured near Semenov still carry this ornament.

In addition to dolls, the main articles manufactured by the Semenov Souvenir Factory are wooden mushrooms, balls, pyramids, and rattles decorated with multicolored stripes or check work and coated with colorless varnish. The most popular matryoshka dolls from Semenov are the "Yaroslavl boys" and the "Russian lads" series. The Semonov toys are typically painted in bright red, crimson, purple, and cornflower blue hues.

The Semonov matryoshka dolls were first exhibited abroad in 1953. Soon they earned international fame as model articles of the Russian folk art. The Semonov matryoshka dolls were regarded as trend setters in the matryoshka trade as they differed from the classic Sergiev Posad dolls in that their style was more ornamental and abstract.

The long established workshops manufacturing wooden toys in the villages of Babenki and Kuznetsovo in the Moscow region were merged with the wooden toys factory at Naro-Fominsk in 1959. Unfortunately, the merger resulted in deterioration of the general workmanship and quality in comparison with the period before nationalization of the industry.

The factory-made toys were cheaper and faster to manufacture than the hand-made toys but their quality was well below that of the toys made by the skilled craftsmen working independently or in cooperative workshops in the past. Factory workers could no longer produce that special "silky" finish of the wooden toy surface obtained by careful processing and polishing by hand. However, the Babenki toys were still in a great demand in the foreign markets because of their attractive ornamentation featuring spots of bright colors.

In the Russian North the toy trade practically disappeared in the Soviet period though in the early 20th century wooden toys were still manufactured there. In the Arkhangelsk region it was only N.A. Sidorov and E.M. Shishkin, craftsmen from the old toy-making families, who continued to manufacture traditional toy "pigeons" from wood chips and "skimmer" rattles.

The tradition of the earthenware toys survived better in the 20th century than the traditions of other hand-made Russian toys. The village of Grinevo of the Kargopol district in the Olonets region of Northern Russia was the birthplace of the Kargopol toys distinguished by their archaic style. These toys are typical incidental products of the pottery trade. The manufacturing process remains the same for many centuries - figurines are shaped from clay and then dried for a day or two indoors. The toys are fired for 6-8 hours and painted with tempera paints in two-three colors without any priming with white. The Kargopol toys are distinguished by their fantastic motifs. Typical range of toys includes figurines of centaurs, two-headed horses, and deer. Usually, they are stand-alone figurines or simple groups of two-three items sculpted and arranged for a frontal view.

The stocky figurines with disproportionately large heads look strikingly inert and are typically rather small (between 8 and 14 cm in height).

A toy is shaped in parts; the base (the torso) is fixed upon the skirt in the female figurines upon separately shaped legs in the male figurines. The bent arms , hats, bags, and other accessories are attached to the torso.
The Dymkovo settlement near the city of Kirov (formerly known as Vyatka) is the best known center of earthenware toy production. The settlement was established in the 15th century by the citizens of the Northern town of Veliky Ustyug who rebelled against Moscow domination and were exiled by the Tsar Ivan III to the remote regions. Some of them including many skilled craftsmen and toy makers moved to the place that was known as the town of Khlynov at the time.

The toys-making trade was primarily promoted by the needs of the local festival known as the "whistling celebration". There was a great demand during the festival for various whistles manufactured by the local craftsmen and shaped as figurines of birds, horses, and lambs. The festival is rooted in the pagan worship of Yarilo, the Slavic solar deity. Another ancient local festival stimulating the demand for toys included all kinds of popular entertainment such as community contests for fist fighters and making snowmen. In the 19th century such rural festivals were quite big affairs, they coincided with fairs and other trade events and continued for several days.

The Dymkovo toys were shaped of the local red clay mixed with fine river sand to prevent cracking during firing. First the massive base of a toy was shaped and then smaller fragments were attached to it (chest, arms, head, dress fringes, hair plaits, or head dresses). The finished toys were dried for several days, fired for three-four hours, primed with chalk dissolved in buttermilk, and painted with tempera paints over the white background. (It was only the Dymkovo toy makers who "whitened" their products by immersing them into a suspension of chalk powder in milk.) When the primed toy was drying in a draught a casein film appeared on the surface and fixed the chalk coating.

The most ancient motifs of the Dymkovo toys are the animals and birds. However, the Dymkovo toy trade is famous primarily for the colorful figurines of proud noble ladies, fat merchant wives, elegant gentlemen, valiant hussars, and groups of figurines depicting scenes from the circus life and open-air markets. The charmingly lively and often funny characters of the toys graphically represent the everyday life of a small Russian town in the 19th century.

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