Davenport's Magic Kingdom

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Davenport's Magic Kingdom

Postby Dan » 16 Jan 2014, 19:33

As I mentioned in the post about the Quisto puppets, the museum of Davenport's Magic Kingdom contain a cabinet full of wonderful Punch and Judy puppets. They also include Bob Wade, Bryan Clarke, Fred Tickner and Bryan Baggs puppets along with some interesting unknown makers. The museum also contains a small selection of ventriloquist figures from their huge collection. Check out the trip advisor comments. It's growing collection of magic, puppets and ventriloquist figures and worth a visit if you are in the area.

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction ... gland.html


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Re: Davenport's Magic Kingdom

Postby lesclarke » 16 Jan 2014, 20:07

Thanks for posting the pics Dan, haven't seen the 'chunky' ones before, as seen on the top shelf and pics 3 and 4, are they by Bryan Baggs ? Good strong features. They look quite large.

Had not heard of the place before despite being over that way on holiday about three years ago.
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Re: Davenport's Magic Kingdom

Postby Dan » 16 Jan 2014, 20:15

Hi Les.
They have only been open for about a year and are becoming very popular. Every entry to the museum includeds a 30 min magic show in their theatre.
I don't think the heads are Baggs as the painting is very different to his style. The Bryan Baggs puppet is the Punch dressed in red and blue with the hat similar to the Cruickshank illustrations.
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Re: Davenport's Magic Kingdom

Postby CvdC » 18 Jan 2014, 01:25

I wonder if they tell you who made the heads on the top shelf of the cabinet.
Also the second photo down. Are they Bob Wade's Punch and Judy?

For anyone doing the Punch and Judy tour of Norfolk, may I recommend the collection here:
http://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/Visit ... /index.htm

I haven't seen them myself but I plan to next time I am in the UK. The photos I have seen show very good puppets.
Hopefully the display is permanent. But usually if you ask ahead of time they may allow private inspections.
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Re: Davenport's Magic Kingdom

Postby Dan » 18 Jan 2014, 16:25

They are not too sure who made those heads. Nice strong carving and would look great dressed. Yes the second photo down are made by Bob Wade. Hopefully they will add some more to their display later on. I know they are working on lots of things for the museum before the summer season.

I have only seen the booth on display at Strangers Hall in Norwich never the puppets. I might pop in there during the week and see if they are there. CVDC do you have any photos of the puppets? As you can see below the booth is lovely (first 3 pics). Philip Dann from Norfolk has a replica proscenium (last pic).


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Re: Davenport's Magic Kingdom

Postby CvdC » 19 Jan 2014, 00:12

This is an old photo but I don't think they have sold them. A few years ago I emailed them and they still had them.
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The paintings on the booth above is not at all amateurish. Certainly done by an artist or scenery painter.
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Re: Davenport's Magic Kingdom

Postby Dan » 19 Jan 2014, 00:21

Ah yes have seen a photo of them before now, thank you. No they wouldn't have sold them they would just put them in storage never knowing when they will see the light of day again. There are more items in Norfolk Museum Services storerooms than are on display. Like most large museums I suppose.
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Re: Davenport's Magic Kingdom

Postby CvdC » 19 Jan 2014, 03:15

prompted by your posting I went to the Norfolk Museums' web site.
Online archiving is a bit of an art rather than science. If you search their collection using "Punch and Judy" you have no luck. But if you use "Puppets" you will be given a list of 95 items with "assigned" and "record" numbers.
No images unfortunately.
The puppets mostly seem to be in storage at Strangers Hall. But as with most museums a serious researcher can contact them with a list and you ought to be able to don the white gloves and view the items by appointment.
They give you contact details and invite you to do so.
Their most interesting Punch they have as being of German origin, 1920 to 1940. But it doesn't look German to my eyes. The carving is however quite a bit more sophisticated than most English puppets. See what you think:
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Here is an image they do have online of the booth with some of their excellent puppets.

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Re: Davenport's Magic Kingdom

Postby lesclarke » 19 Jan 2014, 12:15

Yes, first pic are a very well carved and dressed Punch & Judy, very skilfully made.

The second set are an ugly bunch! On first view I thought perhaps too ugly to use, but they quickly grew on me, and I think I could work with them. I feel they could deliver a very robust and powerful show.
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