Sadko, one of the most popular characters in Russian
folklore, plays his instrument for the Sea Tsar, a
dynamically large 1976-1991 porcelain figurine of the folk
hero standing amongst waves filled with rampant sea life,
Kiev Experimental Ceramic Factory.
12 1/2" x 7" x 7" (30 x 18 x 18cm), intricate and
multicolor figure with gold highlights.
Excellent condition with the minor exception of an expert
repair of one finger on his left hand, not immediately
noticeable and certainly not detractive.
A Novgorod merchant, Sadko unknowingly pleases the Sea Tsar
one day when playing his stringed instrument (a
gusli) while walking on the shoreline. The Sea Tsar
enables Sadko to play a trick on the other merchants that
leaves Sadko a very wealthy man.
As is typical of the heroes in so many fairy tales, Sadko
eventually forgets his benefactor and winds up having to
save himself from the Sea Tsar's wrath by once again playing
his gusli as beautifully as he can...
The official price of 22 rubles and 50 kopecks stamped on
the bottom was phenomenally high for a Soviet porcelain
figure: one would either have had to have an amazingly large
monthly salary to afford it or to have been so
smitten by it that it was well worth living on bread and
water for several weeks just to own it. Later versions
exhibit a much more basic paint scheme and have either very
few or absolutely no gold highlights...
An outstanding creation - something that could stand alone
anywhere in the home or become an inspired addition to a
collection folk- and fairy-tale themed lacquer boxes.
/trademark is #298 in Volume One of "Marks on Soviet
Porcelain, Faience, and Majolica, 1917-1991" /