Photo album for the International Duck Day in the museum Photo Gallery

Duck Day – this acronymed name refers to several different holidays in various countries and international days associated with birds. Among them, the most well-known "bird" date is the International Bird Day – the 1st of April. In 1902, the Convention was signed, the main point of which was birds protection. Moreover, the 1st of April was chosen due to the fact that migrant birds return home by this period. Thanks to fairy tales, we get to know ducks in early childhood. The first one, for the people who speak Russian, is probably the duck from the tale "Gray Neck" by Dmitry Mamin-Sibiryak. We are worried about its fate and rejoice at this fairy tale happy end.

The Chinese, for example, honor mandarin ducks, believe that these birds choose partner once for the entire life and die in case they are separated. In Feng Shui culture, a pair of mandarin ducks is a talisman that strengthens the bond of marriage; it is used to attract love and fidelity and usually placed in bedrooms. Humankind has been exploiting the image of a duck since ancient times. Ducks in paintings and sculptures personified prosperity and secured family. Ducks were often depicted in still-life paintings as well. Ancient Egyptians believed that the powerful Isis patronized ducks. The Goddess symbolizes femininity, beauty and shelters mothers. The Greek God of love Eros was often depicted with this bird, and therefore it became a symbol of ardent passion. In North American tribes, a duck is considered the amalgamation of Heaven and water. The Jews believed that duck was a symbol of eternal life. The pagan Slavs living on the territory of ancient Kiev Russ associated duck with the Goddess Mokosh* that personified a woman. It was believed that a pair of duck figurines would bring mutual understanding into relationships, strengthen feelings, smooth out conflicts and create general friendly environment in the family. For lonely people, magic duck-shaped talisman would help to meet a soul mate. According to ancient Eastern traditions, young newly wedded couple were presented with figurines of a drake and a mallard duck. However, each sculpture might be accompanied with its own legend …

Today we publish new Photo Album, which is comprised of images of these amazing animals from the museum Collection section "Lapidary works of art” and section "Western-European Metal Artworks" - these are the figurines carved from ornamental and precious stones and silver figurines made in the author's "fur and feathers" technique.

*Mokosh is a Slavic goddess mentioned in the Primary Chronicle, protector of women's work and women's destiny. She watches over spinning and weaving, shearing of sheep, and protects women in childbirth.