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" /
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