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Puppetry Collection

Puppetry, an ancient art form that has captivated audiences for centuries, continues to mesmerize with its enchanting performances

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Filming Thunderbirds

Filming Thunderbirds
Filming the classic 1960s series Thunderbirds, a British mid-1960s science fiction television show devised by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and made by AP Films

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Filming Thunderbirds

Filming Thunderbirds
Filming the classic 1960s series Thunderbirds, a British mid-1960s science fiction television show devised by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and made by AP Films

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Filming Thunderbirds

Filming Thunderbirds
Filming the classic 1960s series Thunderbirds, a British mid-1960s science fiction television show devised by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and made by AP Films

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Green dinosaur blow up inflatable toy, close up

Green dinosaur blow up inflatable toy, close up

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Petrushka, 1882

Petrushka, 1882. Found in the collection of State A. Radishchev Art Museum, Saratov

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Traditional Indonesian Wayang Golek puppets, Kraton palace, Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia

Traditional Indonesian Wayang Golek puppets, Kraton palace, Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Yoke the, traditional Burmese marionettes, on sale in the local market, Bagan, Mandalay

Yoke the, traditional Burmese marionettes, on sale in the local market, Bagan, Mandalay region, Myanmar

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Guy is being a joke, Ginette is watching him. Helene sews warm clothes to Henriette her doll

Guy is being a joke, Ginette is watching him. Helene sews warm clothes to Henriette her doll
8600252 Guy is being a joke, Ginette is watching him. Helene sews warm clothes to Henriette her doll. Irene follows Ida, her infirm little cousin

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Tony Sarg and one of his dancing marionettes, 1928

Tony Sarg and one of his dancing marionettes, 1928
Tony Sarg (regarded as Americas puppet master and one of his dancing marionettes, 1928 Date: 1928

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Colourful hand puppets for sale, Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Colourful hand puppets for sale, Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan, Bukhara, Colourful hand puppets for sale

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Close-up of Burmese puppet (AKA Yoke the or marionettes) hanging from strings, Mandalay

Close-up of Burmese puppet (AKA Yoke the or marionettes) hanging from strings, Mandalay, Mandalay Region, Myanmar

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Close-up of round puppet, Mandalay, Mandalay Region, Myanmar

Close-up of round puppet, Mandalay, Mandalay Region, Myanmar

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Asia, East Asia, Taiwan, a play in a traditional itinerant Chinese puppet theater

Asia, East Asia, Taiwan, a play in a traditional itinerant Chinese puppet theater

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Marionette, Bambara Culture

Marionette, Bambara Culture
LSE3082223 Marionette, Bambara Culture, by African School; Private Collection; Photo © Leonard de Selva

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Marionette, Bambara Culture

Marionette, Bambara Culture
LSE3082222 Marionette, Bambara Culture, by African School; Private Collection; Photo © Leonard de Selva

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Marionette, Bambara Culture

Marionette, Bambara Culture
LSE3082224 Marionette, Bambara Culture, by African School; Private Collection; Photo © Leonard de Selva

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Punch and Judy. After the illustration by George Cruikshank. From Punch and Judy, published 1828

Punch and Judy. After the illustration by George Cruikshank. From Punch and Judy, published 1828
2907807 Punch and Judy. After the illustration by George Cruikshank. From Punch and Judy, published 1828. by Cruikshank, George (1792-1878); Private Collection

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Mr. Punch, (Pulcinella). After the illustration by George Cruikshank

Mr. Punch, (Pulcinella). After the illustration by George Cruikshank. From Punch and Judy, published 1828
2907806 Mr. Punch, (Pulcinella). After the illustration by George Cruikshank. From Punch and Judy, published 1828. by Cruikshank, George (1792-1878); Private Collection

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Celebrities and Personages: Lord Charles Beresford, British admiral and politician; John Burns

Celebrities and Personages: Lord Charles Beresford, British admiral and politician; John Burns
7148430 Celebrities and Personages: Lord Charles Beresford, British admiral and politician; John Burns, British trade unionist and politician; Henry Labouchere, British politician; William Harcourt

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Woman with three men as puppets (litho)

Woman with three men as puppets (litho)
7149288 Woman with three men as puppets (litho) by Kley, Heinrich (1863-1945); Private Collection; (add.info.: Woman with three men as puppets)

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Chinese Peep-show (engraving)

Chinese Peep-show (engraving)
7180857 Chinese Peep-show (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Chinese Peep-show)

Background imagePuppetry Collection: The Head of the Poll; or, the Wimbledon Showman and His Puppet

The Head of the Poll; or, the Wimbledon Showman and His Puppet, caricature of British Whig politicians John Horne Tooke
7148339 The Head of the Poll; or, the Wimbledon Showman and His Puppet, caricature of British Whig politicians John Horne Tooke and Francis Burdett, 1807 (engraving) by English School

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Scaramouche with Mr Punch, 1828 (engraving)

Scaramouche with Mr Punch, 1828 (engraving)
5320760 Scaramouche with Mr Punch, 1828 (engraving) by Cruikshank, George (1792-1878); Private Collection; (add.info.: From the Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Punch)

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Tony Sarg in his workshop and a group of his favourite

Tony Sarg in his workshop and a group of his favourite marionettes, 1928 Date: 1928

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Show with shadow puppets in Algeria. c. 1835 (w / c on paper)

Show with shadow puppets in Algeria. c. 1835 (w / c on paper)
CHT189395 Show with shadow puppets in Algeria. c.1835 (w/c on paper) by Leblanc, Theodore (1800-37); Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris

Background imagePuppetry Collection: The doctor with Mr Punch, 1828 (engraving)

The doctor with Mr Punch, 1828 (engraving)
5320761 The doctor with Mr Punch, 1828 (engraving) by Cruikshank, George (1792-1878); Private Collection; (add.info.: From the Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Punch)

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Mechanical monster head at the London Hippodrome

Mechanical monster head at the London Hippodrome
The wonderful head worked at the Hippodrome by the Kluks. In the first icture it roars for more food, then its eyes rolls with delight over the repast after which it falls into a slumber

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Poster for Les Pantins by Gustave Grillet at the Theatre Victor Hugo

Poster for Les Pantins by Gustave Grillet at the Theatre Victor Hugo
CHT189396 Poster for Les Pantins by Gustave Grillet at the Theatre Victor Hugo, late 19th century (colour litho) by French School, (19th century); Bibliotheque des Arts Decoratifs, Paris

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Marionettes, 1929 (b / w photo)

Marionettes, 1929 (b / w photo)
GBW469875 Marionettes, 1929 (b/w photo) by Modotti, Tina (1896-1942); (add.info.: used by Louis Bunin in a performance of The Hairy Ape by Eugene O Neill; ); eGalerie Bilderwelt; Italian

Background imagePuppetry Collection: In the Prison Cell, 1929 (b / w photo)

In the Prison Cell, 1929 (b / w photo)
GBW469874 In the Prison Cell, 1929 (b/w photo) by Modotti, Tina (1896-1942); (add.info.: Yank and Policeman; marionettes used by Louis Bunin in a performance of The Hairy Ape by Eugene O Neill;)

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Travelling puppeteer (chromolitho)

Travelling puppeteer (chromolitho)
731729 Travelling puppeteer (chromolitho) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Travelling puppeteer)

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Banraku puppets (mixed media)

Banraku puppets (mixed media)
HSC249813 Banraku puppets (mixed media) by Japanese School; Horniman Museum, London, UK; (add.info.: Banraku or Bunraku was a type of storytelling that originated in 17th century Japan using rod)

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Hands of the puppeteer, 1929 (b / w photo)

Hands of the puppeteer, 1929 (b / w photo)
GBW469876 Hands of the puppeteer, 1929 (b/w photo) by Modotti, Tina (1896-1942); (add.info.: Mexican puppeteer Louis Bunin in a performance of The Hairy Ape by Eugene O Neill;)

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Judy urges Mr Punch to take the child, 1828 (engraving)

Judy urges Mr Punch to take the child, 1828 (engraving)
5320759 Judy urges Mr Punch to take the child, 1828 (engraving) by Cruikshank, George (1792-1878); Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Polynesian children watching a puppet show (chromolitho)

Polynesian children watching a puppet show (chromolitho)
2788857 Polynesian children watching a puppet show (chromolitho) by European School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Polynesian children watching a puppet show)

Background imagePuppetry Collection: The Street Players

The Street Players
BAL15640 The Street Players by Firmin-Girard, Marie Francois (1838-1921); Josef Mensing Gallery, Hamm-Rhynern, Germany; French, out of copyright

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Marionette, 1929 (b / w photo)

Marionette, 1929 (b / w photo)
GBW469873 Marionette, 1929 (b/w photo) by Modotti, Tina (1896-1942); (add.info.: used by Louis Bunin in a performance of The Hairy Ape by Eugene O Neill; ); eGalerie Bilderwelt; Italian

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Shadow Games, from the series Childrens Games, 1888 (colour woodcut)

Shadow Games, from the series Childrens Games, 1888 (colour woodcut)
CSM152879 Shadow Games, from the series Childrens Games, 1888 (colour woodcut) by Eitaku, Kobayashi (1843-90); Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London; eCentral St

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Punch in the Drawing Room, 1871 (engraving)

Punch in the Drawing Room, 1871 (engraving)
5320764 Punch in the Drawing Room, 1871 (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: From The Graphic, 25 December 1871.); English, out of copyright

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Wests New Pantomime Tricks, 1822 (engraving)

Wests New Pantomime Tricks, 1822 (engraving)
5320762 Wests New Pantomime Tricks, 1822 (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: William Wests family worked at Covent Garden Theatre giving him the idea of a)

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Puppet show (chromolitho)

Puppet show (chromolitho)
974521 Puppet show (chromolitho) by European School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Puppet show.); © Look and Learn

Background imagePuppetry Collection: The Wooden Horse from the Opera of Les Troyens, by Hector Berlioz, 1898 (litho)

The Wooden Horse from the Opera of Les Troyens, by Hector Berlioz, 1898 (litho)
XEE1080236 The Wooden Horse from the Opera of Les Troyens, by Hector Berlioz, 1898 (litho) by Poyet, Louis (1846-1913); Private Collection; (add.info.: Les Troyens (in English)

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Punch and Judy show (coloured engraving)

Punch and Judy show (coloured engraving)
981749 Punch and Judy show (coloured engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Punch and Judy show.); Look and Learn / Elgar Collection

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Polichinelle, 1873 (oil on canvas)

Polichinelle, 1873 (oil on canvas)
NUL445561 Polichinelle, 1873 (oil on canvas) by Manet, Edouard (1832-83); 50x35 cm; Private Collection; (add.info.: Polichinelle, or Pulcinella)

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Puppet made for Le Roi Cerf by Carlo Gozzi (1720-1806) 1918 (mixed media)

Puppet made for Le Roi Cerf by Carlo Gozzi (1720-1806) 1918 (mixed media)
XIR185929 Puppet made for Le Roi Cerf by Carlo Gozzi (1720-1806) 1918 (mixed media) by Taeuber-Arp, Sophie (1889-1943); Museum Bellerive, Zurich, Switzerland; Swiss, out of copyright

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Puppeteers, c. 1840 (colour woodblock print)

Puppeteers, c. 1840 (colour woodblock print)
880858 Puppeteers, c.1840 (colour woodblock print) by Nangai, Tanaka (fl.c.1840); 19.4x18.3 cm; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN, USA; eMinneapolis Institute of Art; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel H

Background imagePuppetry Collection: Nookie Bear breezed into Coventry yesterday and quickly made himself at home at

Nookie Bear breezed into Coventry yesterday and quickly made himself at home at the Belgrade Theatre. With him came Roger de Courcey



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Puppetry, an ancient art form that has captivated audiences for centuries, continues to mesmerize with its enchanting performances. From the iconic Thunderbirds series to the intricate craftsmanship of traditional Indonesian Wayang Golek puppets, puppetry showcases a world where imagination knows no bounds. In the realm of entertainment, it has left an indelible mark. The mention of Thunderbirds instantly transports us back to the thrilling adventures filmed behind-the-scenes. With strings delicately manipulated by skilled puppeteers, these marionettes brought characters like Scott Tracy and Lady Penelope to life in a way that captured our hearts and fired up our imaginations. But puppetry is not limited to just television screens; it extends far beyond into various forms and cultures. Take Petrushka, created in 1882 by Igor Stravinsky and Alexandre Benois – a ballet that tells the tragic tale of a lovelorn puppet who yearns for freedom from his master's control. This timeless masterpiece reminds us of the power puppets hold in conveying complex emotions through their delicate movements. And let's not forget Tony Sarg, whose pioneering work revolutionized American puppetry in the early 20th century. In 1928, he dazzled audiences with his dancing marionettes – intricately designed figures that effortlessly swayed across stages as if they possessed their own souls. Sarg's creativity pushed boundaries and inspired generations of aspiring puppeteers worldwide. Beyond popular culture lies another facet of this captivating art form: traditional Indonesian Wayang Golek puppets found within Kraton palace in Yogyakarta, Java. These beautifully crafted wooden figures are more than mere playthings; they represent cultural heritage passed down through generations. Each meticulously carved detail reflects stories from ancient epics or local folklore while preserving Indonesia's rich traditions. As we delve deeper into the world of puppetry, we discover its ability to transcend time and space, bridging gaps between cultures and generations.