Friday, June 20, 2014

Print of the Day: Sheet Music Cover for “Polichinelle” or, The Royal Punchinello Quadrilles' by Musard, 1843

The V&A
Sheet Music Cover for Musard's Polichinelle or "The Royal Punchinello Quadrilles"
English, 1843
The George Speaight Archive
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Polichinelle is the French term for Pulcinella (or Pulcinello), the Italian Commedia dell’Arte character who became known as Punchinello in England, and, then, later Mr. Punch.  This 1843 sheet music cover for a group of songs called, “Polichinelle, or, The Royal Punchinello Quadrilles” by Musard (published by R. Cocks & Co.) depicts Mr. Punch with his wife Judy who holds their famed, put-upon baby.  As is traditionally the case, the baby’s face is that of his hook-nose, hunch-backed, portly puppet papa.

What’s curious about this is that Punch and Judy appear to have other children—boys and girls who also, rather sadly, resemble their father.  The tradition of Punch doesn’t include other children, so I find this very interesting.  I wonder if our Mr. Punch tossed these tots out of the window as well.  If so, they appear to have survived and grown to be rather jolly.

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