Hand-Painted Propaganda Art Lacquer Box from Fedoskino,
dated 1951 and signed by the artist Potapov.
Papier-mache, lacquer; outside dimensions are 15.5 cm x 11
cm x 7 cm (approx. 6" x 4 ½ " x 2 ½ "). Brass piano hinge,
traditional red painted interior. The nicely executed,
detailed artwork features the building of the Smolnyi
Institute in Petrograd (Leningrad) that was used as the
headquarters by Lenin during the October 1917 Bolshevik
Revolution. Marked on the bottom left "Fedoskino", the
oldest and perhaps most famous center for such work in
Russia, and shows the 1951 date of manufacture. To the right
is the signature of the artist "G. Potapov." Nicely
decorated with florals along the edges and corners in
traditional Russian style.
In good condition. The box has obviously seen many years'
use in someone's home or office. There are minor chips to
the lacquer at the bottom edge and much less noticeable wear
to the corners of the lid, but none of the wear is too
detractive. There is no noticeable scratches or scuffs to
the top and sides of the box. The artwork in particular is
beautifully preserved, its colors unfaded and bright. The
box is very sound, the hinge works perfectly, and the lid
fits very precisely (the latter is a trademark of the
original Fedoskino lacquer boxes that are made of quality
materials and unlike modern reproductions, don't warp over
Even though there is no inscription anywhere on or in this
box, its obvious quality leads us to think that it was
produced by the Fedoskino artisans to be used by someone as
a presentation gift.