The one souvenir from my vacation was a little Russian nesting doll, otherwise know as a matryoshka doll. I had to stop into the Dutch Village gift shop since we were in Holland, Michigan for a couple nights. There I spotted a shelve devoted to matryoshka dolls! It struck a chord with me as my grandma brought me back one such doll as a souvenir from her Europe trip. I remember opening up the present on Christmas morning and experiencing much glee! The display at Dutch Village was pretty comprehensive, and I realized how this could easily become a collecting addiction. I really liked some of the holiday themed dolls, especially the autumn season one since I am a sucker for all Halloween related decor. Although I was tempted by a miniature owl and the do-it-yourself doll I ended up getting a traditional 5 piece Semenov style doll hand painted by Golden Cockerel. These history of these dolls dates back to 1890, but the concept of nested items were presenet even earlier in Russia with the first fabergé egg in 1885. Said to be inspired by Japanese wooden dolls representing the seven gods of fortune, a folk artist named Sergei Maliutin sketched up a design for his patron Savva Mamontov. Carved by Vasiliy Zvezdochkin and painted by Maliutin, the toy later debuted at the World Exhibition in Paris. The toy earned a bronze medal and a phenomenon began. As a fan of more traditional children’s toys, I think these dolls would make a great gift, or the start of a great collection!