Freshwater pearls were the main decorative element used in embroidery in Russia, where pearls were plentiful in rivers across the country. Pearls were also employed by the Church to heavily ornament both religious garments and embroideries. As glass seed beads, imported from Venice and Bohemia, became readily available, Russian women quickly integrated them into their embroidery. In Russia, both a tradition of embroidery and an ecclesiastical embroidery industry were already in place, which helped to make the transition to creating glass beadwork an easy and rapid one. Beads began to adorn a great variety of domestic and functional goods, such as bottles (e.g., 82.3.76), wall hangings, purses, and fire screens. As in Europe, these domestic goods were often made as a form of leisure activity by women of the upper classes. Icons crafted for the Russian Orthodox Church were regularly enclosed in ornate cases. The making of beaded icon casings probably began in the 18th century and continued into the early 20th century. Glass beads, along with glass gems, pearls, and metal foils, were used to achieve a highly encrusted appearance. This icon depicts the koimesis (falling asleep in death) of the Virgin Mary. Only the painted head and hands of the Virgin are visible; everything else is heavily encrusted with white, pink, and metal-lined seed beads, as well as with larger amber facet-formed beads and imitation gems. The icon is set in a boxlike frame covered with what looks to be gold foil. Icons, especially those of the Virgin Mary, were important in the Russian Orthodox religion, and the added adornment of the cases made these icons more precious and spectacular to those who faithfully believed in the figures depicted.