German Puppet set I found on eBay

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German Puppet set I found on eBay

Postby Puppet Palooza » 26 Mar 2016, 04:15

I want some advice here. Does this set look like it's worth restoring? I had some ideas of what I could do by looking at the pictures, but, I want to get some expert advice before making any decisions.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/11-Vintage-Germ ... RTM2247625
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Re: German Puppet set I found on eBay

Postby Chris » 26 Mar 2016, 19:11

They don't look in much need of restoration to me - they look in pretty good condition for what they are - a set of smallish, not very well modelled papie mache glove puppets. However they have absolutely nothing to do with Punch & Judy. These are fairy tale puppets. None of these characters would be of any use in a Punch Show.
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Re: German Puppet set I found on eBay

Postby Puppet Palooza » 26 Mar 2016, 20:22

Thank you for pointing this out! I thought it looked a bit strange. I thought I saw one puppet that was similar to Punch. That's what threw me off. Well, back to the drawing board.
Last edited by Puppet Palooza on 26 Mar 2016, 23:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: German Puppet set I found on eBay

Postby Chris » 26 Mar 2016, 22:12

As a guide,
1) Punch & Judy is only known in English speaking countries and while other countries have puppet shows, and puppet heroes they do not produce Punch and Judy shows. Therefore Puppets from Germany are not going to be Punch and Judy.
2) Punch and Judy shows do not have Witches, Wizards, Kings, Queens, Robbers etc. They have a more or less standard cast list from which any particular professor will select. Occasionally he may add some character outside the traditional cast for reasons of novelty or topicality.
3) Punch and Judy figures are normally carved in wood for durability since they are all victims to the slapstick. If they are made from papie mache they will not be the usual hollow style of papie mache work. There are various specialised techniques which produce a very strong head from paper.
4) Punch and Judy puppets have a distinct size and proportion. They are different from all other glove puppets.
5)Punch and Judy is a very distinct form of puppetry. Most puppeteers cannot perform Punch & Judy - it requires a different mind set. My personal view is that Punch is caught, almost like a disease. Once caught it's with you for life. Some people, however keen, never seem to catch it.
6) The terms "Punch and Judy" and "Punch and Judy Puppets" are often incorrectly used to mean glove puppets and glove puppet style shows. This is especially true in the US, and by the general public, and is very common on EBay.
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Re: German Puppet set I found on eBay

Postby Puppet Palooza » 26 Mar 2016, 23:42

Thank you for this guide. It will certainly help.


5)Punch and Judy is a very distinct form of puppetry. Most puppeteers cannot perform Punch & Judy - it requires a different mind set. My personal view is that Punch is caught, almost like a disease. Once caught it's with you for life. Some people, however keen, never seem to catch it.


I'm up for this challenge! A famous US Puppeteer, John Hardman, was a great Punchman as well as being a great puppeteer of all other forms including marionettes. He was a great improvisational comic and also did shows where he had a sigle puppet that did insult humor. But, my main point is, he was a great Punchman as well. So, it's not impossible for a "plain old/common puppeteer" to do this. I believe that is a matter of opinion. You never tell me anything like "Most puppeteers cannot perform Punch and Judy", I'll set out to prove that I can! :D I hope you aren't insulted by this response, but, I felt I had to defend myself a little here. It was almost as if you were trying to discourage me. this art form could die in the next one hundred years if you don't recruit some young punchmen. I don't recommenced discouraging people from trying it. Since I've been viewing all of the videos and websites of various Punchmen, I have yet to see one who is in his 20s or 30s. I may be wrong, but, I haven't' personally seen it. That's isn't a particularly good sign.

As far as the rest of the list is concerned, thank you, again for the guide. i hope you weren't offended by my blunt honesty. I highly disagree with your view that most puppeteers can't learn to perform Punch. It depends on the person in my view. Don't take this personally, I merely disagree. Like I said, that sounds like discouragement and I certainly would never discourage anyone who wants to try. If somebody approaches me wanting to be a ventriloquist ( I am* one), I say, good for you! I also recommend that they practice, practice, practice. Dont' discourage people. You do* want the art form to continue don't you?
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Re: German Puppet set I found on eBay

Postby scumonkey » 27 Mar 2016, 00:31

6) The terms "Punch and Judy" and "Punch and Judy Puppets" are often incorrectly used to mean glove puppets and glove puppet style shows. This is especially true in the US, and by the general public, and is very common on EBay.


I too must take a bit of exception...NO offense intended by me either BUT-

As an American, I can tell you for a fact that the majority of people here have never even heard of Punch and Judy, so it is not true-" especially in the US".
Hand/glove puppets over here are simply called puppets, often muppets, and some times wrongly marionettes.

Any puppet listings on ebay from Americans incorrectly using the term "Punch and Judy" would simply be a marketing tactic by shrewd sellers trying to gain more viewers- mostly European. :wink:
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Re: German Puppet set I found on eBay

Postby Chris » 27 Mar 2016, 01:17

I agree with you, Scumonkey, that many people in your country haven't heard of Punch & Judy. And those who have heard of it don't differentiate between it and other forms of glove puppetry. It has become almost a generic term.
Any puppet listings on ebay from Americans incorrectly using the term "Punch and Judy" would simply be a marketing tactic by shrewd sellers trying to gain more viewers- mostly European.


Again, I agree with you. And remember I was talking particularly about Ebay. But if Americans are incorrectly using the term "Punch and Judy", isn't that exactly what I was saying. Whether out of ignorance or as a deliberate marketing ploy it comes to the same thing. And they must be familiar with the term in order to use it?

It isn't only Ebay, if you follow Punch and Judy on most of the major auction houses you will find Punch & Judy used as a generic term for old hand puppets. German and Austrian origin Kasperl sets frequently come up wrongly described as Punch & Judy
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Re: German Puppet set I found on eBay

Postby Puppet Palooza » 27 Mar 2016, 02:33

scumonkey wrote:
6) The terms "Punch and Judy" and "Punch and Judy Puppets" are often incorrectly used to mean glove puppets and glove puppet style shows. This is especially true in the US, and by the general public, and is very common on EBay.


I too must take a bit of exception...NO offense intended by me either BUT-

As an American, I can tell you for a fact that the majority of people here have never even heard of Punch and Judy, so it is not true-" especially in the US".
Hand/glove puppets over here are simply called puppets, often muppets, and some times wrongly marionettes.

Any puppet listings on ebay from Americans incorrectly using the term "Punch and Judy" would simply be a marketing tactic by shrewd sellers trying to gain more viewers- mostly European. :wink:


Thank you! You're exactly right. Americans also refer to glove puppets as "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" puppets or "Mister Rogers" puppets as well. I'm sure you've heard that before.
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