Last third of the 18th century

This doll in festive folk costume passed from the collection of Count Grigory Sergeyevich Stroganov to the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts in 1882. According to legend, the doll belonged to Peter the Great’s daughter, the future Empress Elizabeth Petrovna (Museum Catalogue 1901, p. 90, cat. 21). However, a costume made of such materials couldn’t have existed at the beginning of the 18th century, for expensive brocade and fine embroidery became gradually available to Russian nobility and townsmen only in the latter half of that century. The elegant doll is executed with great mastery. The headdress, adornments on the neck and arms and miniature shoes accurately reproduce elements of authentic late 18th-century women’s costume from the Kostroma region. A depiction of a similar costume, that of a “girl from the Kostroma suburbs”, can be found in 2nd Major Nikolai Sumarokov’s 1776 manuscript “A Short Historical Note on the City of Kostroma” (Ethnographic Museum, coll. 2, series 2, doc. 78). The manuscript illustration nonetheless conveys the pattern of the fabric, the shape of the headdress and the cut of the sarafan and dushegreya (sleeveless jacket). The author even depicts the girl’s heeled shoes and the lace kerchief clasped in her hand.

«Виртуальный Русский музей» в социальных сетях: