Friday, May 30, 2014

The Art of Play: The Albert Smith Clown, 1890

"Joey the Clown"
Albert Smith, 1890
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Celebrated Punch & Judy Man and puppet maker, Albert Smith delighted late Nineteenth Century audiences with his enchanting puppets. Here, we see one of the few surviving examples of Smith’s puppets—a figure of “Joey the Clown”—one of the standard characters in the Punch & Judy mythology.

Joey, as has been customary for the last couple of centuries, is a glove puppet with a carved and painted face and hands and painted black hair. Joey sports a red leather pointed hat which is edged with fringe at the front. He wears a multi-colored striped tunic with a red and white ruff, blue cuffs and edging, and a strip of red, yellow and red braid at the front. His wardrobe is adorned with three metal buttons set with artificial jewels (some of which are now missing). On the reverse of the puppet is stitched a long black wired sleeve which was meant to conceal the Professor's arm
The set by Albert Smith from which "Joey" comes. 

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