Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Art of Play: A Chinese Shadow Puppet, late 19th C.

Shadow Puppet
China, Late Nineteenth Century
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Shadow puppets are neat. But, then, I’m a puppet fancier, so I suppose I’d be inclined to think so. This one comes from China and dates to the late Nineteenth Century. It’s a tiger! He’s got very handsome tiger striped and a feline face—all hand painted.

This tiger is made up of eight individual pieces which are joined with twine at the head, neck, body, waist and tail. These moveable joints allow the puppet to be manipulated in realistic-looking way. Rods at the head and tail are used to move the joints. He’s composed of oil parchment and painted with watercolor.

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