Russian nesting dolls, also called matryoshka, are a collectible art form dating back more than 100 years. The first Russian nesting dolls were carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin and contained 8 pieces.
Nesting dolls are made from a single block of wood, leaving very little waste. The dolls are then hand pointed and nested inside one another. The figures separate in half to reveal smaller and smaller dolls inside.
In a traditional set of nesting dolls, each doll looks almost identical, but modern versions tend to have more of a unifying theme (such as animals) with each doll a different component to that theme. Matryoshka have become one of the most enduring symbols of Russian culture.