Friday, September 27, 2013

Drawing of the Day: A Costume Design for Judy, 1861-1934

The Victoria & Albert Museum

What might Judy (Mr. Punch’s lovely bride) look like were she a human lady? Well, here’s your answer. She’s stunning, yes?

Here, from the beautiful George Speaight Punch and Judy Archive at the V&A, we see a costume design for an actor playing Judy. Why? No one knows anymore. The only explanation for this drawing of pencil and watercolor on card is an inscription stating that it was designed by Clarkson Costumes ca. 1861 to 1934. Hmmm… That’s rather a large time range there.

We see that Judy is carrying a stick in her left hand (as one does when married to Mr. Punch) and dragging a doll with her right hand. I would like to interject that the “doll” is actually meant to represent the famed, embattled baby in whatever human version of the Comical Tragedy (or Tragical Comedy) of Mr. Punch for which this costume was designed. It’s all very mysterious. But, that’s the way to do it. 

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