National Maritime Museum

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National Maritime Museum

Postby Chris T » 29 Sep 2013, 23:42

Thought I would share this picture I took today while visiting the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Fantastic specimen! It comes from Peter Butchard's set.



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Re: National Maritime Museum

Postby Richard Coombs » 30 Sep 2013, 00:27

Thanks for the photo share Chris T ...that is the Mr Punch I used to watch as as boy ...nice to see him again.

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Re: National Maritime Museum

Postby Chris » 30 Sep 2013, 14:08

I really like the costume, but the face is a bit grim. Can you remember how you viewed him as a child Richard? I ask this because children don't always pick up on the same visual cues which influence adults.
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Re: National Maritime Museum

Postby Richard Coombs » 30 Sep 2013, 18:52

Well Chris , I don't remember the face being so flat ( or the nose so small ) ...or even that Peter did not swazzle his Punch ( something I was told when an adult ..and didnt believe it ! )

But I DO remember the hat being very tall and sugar-loaf flat.
Also the velvet being very dark plumb red , not scarlet like other Punches I had seen at Herne Bay.


I guess i was quite attuned to colours and textures even then.

As I have said on here before , the Croc at Herne Bay in Colins show had very textured green velvet ( faded and wearing thin...but creating a memorable look )

I strived to make my croc have that look, and was thrilled years back to find 'old worn' looking patterned cloth ( actually new) that did the job nicely

Also with my current Punch /Duplicates of him ...I have gone for a darker plumb like red very like on Peters here ....I guess early influences resonate right through life , and we strive to capture them in our own work.

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Re: National Maritime Museum

Postby CvdC » 01 Oct 2013, 04:12

It has been my experience that I am always true from my point of view, and am often wrong from the point of view of my honest critics. I know that we are both right from our respective points of view. - Gandhi (Having a bob each way.)
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Re: National Maritime Museum

Postby Chris » 01 Oct 2013, 10:16

Nice pictures Chris.
The Punch in black and white actually looks more friendly.
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Re: National Maritime Museum

Postby Richard Coombs » 01 Oct 2013, 12:19

I agree .
Lots of possibilities there Chris T

It could be that it was repainted many times ( and expressions and smiles are often difficult things to recapture when painting a new layer over an old one )

The puppet shows signs of being re-dressed too ..I spy different braids on the cloak for example , and slightly different horizontal braiding across his tummy.

But the Hat is most certainly different in the colour photo to the black and white ...in all aspects ..the braiding the buttoning at the front , the height , the shape and the stuffing ---- whether the Mr Punch is the same in both pics is unclear ..but the Hat certainly isn't.

As I said , possibly a major case of refurbishment in repainting and redressing.

OR it could be a totally different puppet .

Not necessarily a replacement when the old on 'wore out' ...possibly even a 'matching' one ..with both carved and dressed at the same time , and alternated during the performers long career.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility for someone going to work the beach for many many seasons, to know that having a second mister punch might be useful years up the line ?

Although not identical , if there are two puppets , they are a fine 'match.

In any case I am 100% sure the one I saw so often as a child was the colour picture ....the size and shape of the hat ...and the buttons on it are emblazoned in my happy memories.

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Re: National Maritime Museum

Postby Chris T » 01 Oct 2013, 17:34

I'm pleased I posted the picture Richard, and that it has brought up fond memories and a bit of a debate. Having seen the puppet up close I would say he had seen some renovation. I noticed that his shoes were two colours for example. It is a shame that he wasn't given more prominence in the exhibition. It was tucked away in the corner and spotted by my better half by chance.

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