Friday, September 20, 2013

Sculpture of the Day: A French Plaque Depicting Polichinelle, c. 1850

Polichinelle Plaque
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This late Nineteenth Century, French, cast-iron plaque is molded in relief with a depiction of a Polichinelle or Punch show taking place in a traditional "fit-up."

Polichinelle is seen in the proscenium opening going about his typical business of smacking an adversary with a stick.  An unusual portrayal, Polichinelle is shown as a rod puppet hanging in front of the booth suspended by a rod from his head.  By this point in puppet history, Punch, Polichinelle and Guignol were usually glove puppets, not marionettes or rod puppets.  

His hump is hollowed out, likely as a receptacle for wax tapers or spills.

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