This traditional Mstera box has been painted by the well-known Mstera artist, Alexander Dogadin. Alexander used to work as a leading Master @ Mstera Factory. Themes of his works are folklore, literature and genre scenes. His works are displayed in the State Museum of Folk and Applied Art at the current Expo.
The composition shows a scene from the memorable tale of, "The Golden Cockerel", written by A.S. Pushkin. It is the defining moment when Tsar Dadon comes back to his kingdom with the bride he is to marry. She is the Queen of Shemakha, whose beauty has blinded the weak tsar and made him forget about the important things in life. Two of those cost him his life and made him deserve the death he was dealt.
First when he rode to the outer reaches of his kingdom to find the sons he saw an awful sight. His sons lying dead with their armies and looking as if they all killed each other in some horrible mistake. However, his grief was soon taken away by the sight of the Queen of Shemakha, with whom he spent three nights before embarking on a return to his kingdom leaving his two sons on the battlefield. Second, the indirect result of his death came as he broke his promise to the astrologer. The astrologer originally brought the cockerel to Dadon, which promised to signal an approaching threat. In return the tsar gave the astrologer a wish that could be redeemed at anytime. For all this time while the astrologer did not need anything Dadon was happy. However, when Dadon and the Queen of Shemakha came back the astrologer requested the queen's hand in marriage. Swelling with rage Dadon struck the astrologer with his staff, while simultaneously the cockerel flew down from its perch and pecked Dadon to death. After this incident the Queen of Shemakha was never seen or heard from again.
The composition is framed with the original and nice pattern painted in gold. The ornamental pattern can be found wrapping around the box's sides, but in gold and aluminum.
The box is made out of paper-mache. Black lacquer covers the exterior and red lacquer covers the interior of the box. The lid is hinged from the top of the composition and the box rests flat. Signed with the name of the artist, the year of 2013 and the village of Mstera.