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Hunter Gatherer

Vintage Collection of Punch and Judy Puppets Czechoslovakia

Vintage Collection of Punch and Judy Puppets Czechoslovakia

I received these puppets over a year ago. All handmade with rustic, wire handles. They appear to be from the eastern block, perhaps from Czechoslovakia? That has yet to be determined.

Punch and Judy are a very famous puppet duo from England who have been around for over 350 years. Although Punch and Judy are primarily English, although it's roots originated in Italy- by Italian puppeteers who created the puppet character Punchinella. The character Punchinella was based on a character from a particular form of Italian Comedy called Commedia Dell'Arte. Punchinella was originally a marionette. When Italian people began fleeing Italy around 1660 because of poor government and war, this character (later called Punch) began popping up in theatres around England. Although Punch was definitely the first character to emerge, he was later followed by his wife, Judy, his 'girlfriend' Pretty Polly, and his dog, Toby. Punch and Judy shows are known for their outrageous humor, often described as slapstick comedy. The term "pleased as Punch" is from Punch and Judy; specifically, Mr. Punch' sense of gleeful self-satisfaction.

The characters in a Punch and Judy show are similar to the cast of a soap opera or a folk tale such as Robin Hood: the principal characters must appear, but the lesser characters are included at the discretion of the performer. New characters may be added and older characters dropped with the whim of the performer.

Along with Punch and Judy, the cast of characters usually includes their baby, a hungry crocodile, a clown, an officious policeman, and a prop string of sausages.[11] The devil and the generic hangman Jack Ketch may still make their appearances but, if so, Punch will always get the better of them.
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