Friday, September 13, 2013

Unusual Artifacts: Will Judge's "Judy," 1900

Judy, circa 1900
This and all related images from:
The Victoria and Albert Museum

A couple of weeks ago, we looked at a jolly Mr. Punch in a golden suit.  I found the little fellow most charming and appealing.  He was once operated by "The Norfolk Comedian," Will Judge (1882-1860) who was billed as a "Refined Comedian and Patterer."  Judge is best known in East Anglia and England's northern lands where he was a pantomime star known for his "Dame" portrayals.  At no point, does any record of Judge's life, as I mentioned before, contain a reference to his career as a Punch & Judy Man, yet, Judge's son donated a stunning set of puppets to the V&A.  Judge the Younger suggests that his father worked with these puppets, but, still, no record can be found.

Nonetheless, she's a pretty Judy, yes?  

The glove puppet sports a carved wooden face with painted brown eyes and is crowned with hair of white wool.  She has been adorned with an emerald green skirt of silk and a floral cotton blouse.  Her apron is of white broderie anglais with a cream cotton lace trim upon her bonnet.  

She is said to have been made in the early Twentieth Century.  

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