Friday, November 30, 2012

The Art of Play: The Albert Smith Mr. Punch, 19th C.

The V&A
Albert Smith's Mr. Punch
Nineteenth Century
This and all related images from:
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This gorgeous carved wood glove puppet of Mr. Punch was created by Albert Smith (1886-1963), a famed Punch and Judy Professor, in the late Nineteenth Century.  Hair of artificial fur frames his carved and painted face.  Punch wears his traditional stuffed crimson corduroy hat trimmed with embroidered braid and a crimson velvet tunic to which is attached a crimson velvet sleeve to cover the Professor's arm. The sleeves of Punch's robe are a medium blue velvet edged with metallic braid while his little breeches are of a matching blue velvet .

Though clearly well-used, his face is still lively and the figure seems imbued with that special life that only Mr. Punch can possess.  After a life well-spent slap-sticking and squawking, he now resides in the Victoria & Albert Museum.  

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