Birch bark folk crafts have a long history in Russia. Almost every region of Russia has a distinct birch bark style. The birch bark is collected only during a brief interval in June and from trees that have been marked for logging. Birch bark as a medium has properties in between paper and wood. Like paper, the bark can be made into sheets, painted or bent into flexible shapes. But like wood, the bark is durable, waterproof and can be carved. The boxes are still hand carved using a variety of special tools. A finished piece is coated with a thin layer of paraffin wax. In Russian Folk wisdom, it was believed that touching a birch tree restored the emotions and helped to reduce stress. This exquisite oval box has a lovely pattern (may vary from picture) carved in the lid and around the sides. The box measures 4.25" long x 1.5" tall. The lid is carved for a nice fit.