A large good quality 19th century Lead garden statue of Punch, mounted on a base. Punch shown here as a Dwarf in Tricorn cap and 18th century attire. Punch and Judy is a traditional, popular, and usually violent puppet show featuring Pulcinella (Mr. Punch) and his wife Judy. The performance consists of a sequence of short scenes, each depicting an interaction between two characters, most typically Mr. Punch and one other character who usually falls victim to Mr. Punch’s club. It is often associated with traditional British seaside culture. The various episodes of Punch and Judy are performed in the spirit of outrageous comedy, often provoking shocked laughter—and are dominated by the clowning of Mr. Punch. The show is performed by a single puppeteer inside the booth, known since Victorian times as a “professor” or “punchman”, and assisted sometimes by a “bottler” who corrals the audience outside the booth, introduces the performance, and collects the money (“the bottle”). The bottler might also play accompanying music or sound effects on a drum or guitar, and engage in back chat with the puppets, sometimes repeating lines that may have been difficult for the audience to understand. In Victorian times, the drum and pan pipes were the instruments of choice. Today, the audience is also encouraged to participate, calling out to the characters on the stage to warn them of danger or clue them in to what is going on behind their backs. Also nowadays, most professors work solo, since the need for a bottler became less important when busking with the show gave way to paid engagements at private parties or public events.
Height: 40.5 in. (102.87 cm)
Width: 19.5 in. (49.53 cm)
Depth: 12 in. (30.48 cm)
Style: Victorian (Of the Period)
Materials and Techniques: Cast, Lead
Place of Origin: England
Period: b19th Century
Date of Manufacture: 1860
Wear consistent with age and use. Shows weathering of lead.