Friday, October 18, 2013

The Art of Play: The Webb Punch Puppet, c. 1930-1950

Glove Puppet of Mr. Punch
This and all related images courtesy of
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Edward Charles Webb, of Stepney, England, crafted and used this figure of Mr. Punch.  This is the central figure of one of two sets of puppets made by the beloved professor who was known for his puppet shows in Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Essex and Hertfordshire. The elder Webb would use one set while his son and son-in-law would use the other, working shows simultaneously in different locations.

Made and used between 1930 and 1950, this glove puppet features a head,, legs and hands carved of wood and painted. White rabbit fur makes his hair. He wears a red corduroy hat trimmed with yellow braid and three pompoms, a matching red corduroy gown with two pompoms on his hump and a cream ruff trimmed with blue and red petersham braid.

Both sets of puppets were donated to the V&A by Mr. Webb's granddaughter.

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