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Title: Tale of two Ivans, the Soldier sons
Artist: Stepanov Sergey
Size (inches): 7.75x6x7.5
This large five-sided casket was painted by a talented Kholui artist, Sergey Stepanov.
The subject is based on the Fairy-Tale of Two Ivans, the soldier Sons.
The plot of the story is folowing...
Once upon a time there was a family, wife and husband. Wife was pregnant. Husband started to prepere to go to the war, he left some money to wife, but asked to keep them for the future child. After he left, wife burn twins, two boys, and called them both Ivans.
Brothers were very clever, and when grown up, became mighty warriors. mother gave them the money that husband left and they went to the city to find them the steeds. But there were no steeds for them, only regular horses, which were small for them. Finally the old man gave them the big steeds as the gifts, and later on also they got from this old man two swords.
Sometimes later brotheres decided to go to see the World. They made a very long trip and finally stand at the cross road, where the signs said, if you will turn to the left- you will become a Prince, and if you will turn to the right, you will die.
They decide to go different directions and only exchange the kerchiefs. If one of them will die, than the kierchef of othr twin will turn to blood.
One Ivan has found a palace and become a Prince. The other one made a long way to other Kingdom. He stayed at the house of old lady and ask why the Kingdom is so sad. She explained that every day huge Dragon Gorynych with 12 heads is coming to their Kingdom and eat one person every day. And he asked to bring him for tomorrow's dinner the oldest daughter of a King. Ivan asked where will be a meeting and went there. At the Sea shore he saw a beautiful lady, who was a dauther of the King, she was chaind to a stone. He help her to take of the chains and they start waiting for a Dragon. Of cource, Ivan killed the Dragon and went to sleep. And he slept for the three days!
The King asked his servant to bring the bones of his daughter. Sneaky servant found the Princess at the Sea shore and take her to the forest and wanted to kill her. But,he said, he could regret her if she will tell the King, that he has killed the Dragon. And she did.
That happend with the middle and the youngest daughters. Another Dragon came to the Kingdom, and Ivan again has saved two other Princesses. And again servant forced Princesses to said that the hero was him.
Finally, the Kingdom start to celebrate their victory over the Dragons. Ivan came to this feast, and the youngest dauther has recognize him and said the thruth about him to the King. King emmediatly hanged the servant and married the youngest daughter to Ivan.
They lived happily, but one day the kerchief of Ivan turned to be bloody. And he sat on the steed and ride to find out about his brother Ivan.
What was happend? The first Ivan went hunting, went far away, got two ducks and found one palace, where he can stay for a night. He came in, make the food, and later on one maiden came to him. She asked if he came to palace on the Magic steed, he said: no, and lady became a Dragon and ate him. She was a magician and daughter of three Dragons, that has killed another Ivan in another Kingdom.
Alived Ivan come to Kingdom and found out , that his brother went hunting about a month ago. He found tha palace where stayed the first Ivan. Again Magician Lady came out and asked if he came on the magic steed, Ivan said:no, but he lied. When lady started to turn to be a Dragon, the steed helped Ivan and hoofed her.Ivan took out his brother from the magician Lady. Ivan got a little bottle of death water and that recovered brothers body, then he has used living water and his brother come to life.
And that was happy end!
Some of the important moments of the story can be found on the sides and on the lid of this very detailed casket!
The casket is made out of paper-mache. Red lacquer covers the interior of the box and black lacquer is used to paint the exterior. The lid is hinged at top, and the box rests on four legs. The work is signed with the artist name, Kholui and the title on the front side of the casket under the composition.