Source: Museum Victoria
Babushka dolls, or matryoshka dolls, are Russia’s most famous toy. However, these sets of nesting dolls originated in China in the 18th century.
From China, the idea was picked up by Japanese craftsmen. It is said that a Russian toymaker’s wife saw the nesting dolls on a trip to Japan and took the idea back to Russia.
Still today, handmade sets of the dolls are one of Russia’s most beautiful traditional crafts. They are also made in neighbouring European countries such as Poland and Ukraine.