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Puppets For Sale

PostPosted: 20 Jan 2015, 12:49
by James
I've listed quite a few puppet lots on ebay, including some Punch items:

A set of Peter Bourne Punch heads http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281569051641?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

A Wal Kent Ghost http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281569058894?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Various circus puppets (see seller's other items for lots more) http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281569044905?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Any questions, just ask.

Re: Puppets For Sale

PostPosted: 20 Jan 2015, 16:59
by Chris

Re: Puppets For Sale

PostPosted: 22 Jan 2015, 12:34
by subsy
Hi James,
Even as a newbie, I've heard of Wal Kent and Bryan Clarke but not of Peter Bourne. Is he similarly well thought of?

Re: Puppets For Sale

PostPosted: 22 Jan 2015, 17:42
by Chris
Subsy's question made me take another look at these.
They have great charm and if restored could make a very nice parlour set.
Of course they are quite a different kettle of fish to Wal Kent or Brian Clarke figures - who are known mainly for carved wooden figures produced in commercial quantities. The Bourne Collection is an individually made set and are in papie-mache which means they are lighter in weight and softer in appearance - factors which can be seen as an advantage.

Re: Puppets For Sale

PostPosted: 22 Jan 2015, 18:54
by James
Hi Subsy,

Peter Bourne worked at the beginning of the last century, whilst Wal Kent took up Punch and Judy after WWII. Bourne made commercially, but in much smaller numbers, and in papier mache, rather than carving in wood. Franklin Spence made using the same construction style.

And yes, as Chris said, they are very light weight, whilst remaining very sturdy. And the characters appear nice and soft and friendly.

Re: Puppets For Sale

PostPosted: 24 Jan 2015, 23:41
by subsy
Hi James,
If this is a typical set then he was a first rate puppet-maker. Does Chris's reference reference to "parlour set" imply that they are fairly small? :?:
Thanks,
Mike

Re: Puppets For Sale

PostPosted: 25 Jan 2015, 12:14
by James
Hi Mike

The punch heads are 6-7 inches high.

Re: Puppets For Sale

PostPosted: 25 Jan 2015, 13:46
by Chris
Which is certainly not particularly small. Actually by parlour set I wasn't particularly thinking of size. Commercial parlour sets were a touch smaller because a big figure was not necessary for visibility in a drawing room performance. Also a smaller figure is lighter in weight and therefore parlour figures were the choice of women performers or older children.
But by parlour set I was thinking more in terms of the figures not being too grotesque for close-up viewing, and also being light-weight which these will be, firstly by being papie mache and also by their shallow front to back construction. This is a trick also employed with wooden figures where it greatly reduces the weight.
But 5 or 6 inch heads are splendid for outdoor work as well.

Re: Puppets For Sale

PostPosted: 25 Jan 2015, 16:20
by subsy
Warning, here comes a really newbie question!
Are there specialists who will make new clothes for the puppets and if so, how expensive are they likely to be? Thanks,
Mike

Re: Puppets For Sale

PostPosted: 25 Jan 2015, 18:16
by Chris
Warning: a really straightforward answer.
If a newbie thinks they can buy there way into being a punch man or any other kind of puppeteer they are wasting their time.
Most puppeteers start off by making their own puppets, painting and costuming them. That's how you learn what makes a good puppet and why. Eventually after developing some skills and experience one then might think of bringing in a specialist to do the things you are weak at.
I would say that every puppeteer must have a moderate skill in generally handling tools, in basic sewing, and enough electrical knowledge to do some simple wiring. Even if you buy everything you still need to be able to alter it and adapt to suit your needs, and you need enough skill to be able to do running repairs.

Now as to glove puppet costumes. Of course you can get them made for you. You can pay someone to do anything. Go to one of few Punch makers and ask. They won't be cheap, but then good work never is.

But assuming this is in the context of buying second hand puppets on EBay. The process of restoring and repairing a set of puppets is a wonderful opportunity for a newbie to learn. Glove puppet costumes are particularly easy to make. Look at the simple patterns on this website - or get one of the thousands of books on puppet making buy some needles and cotton and a pair of scissors at Asda or Wallmart, cut up an old shirt, and you're off.

Also the act of creation is a lot of fun!
And the same goes for puppets.

Re: Puppets For Sale

PostPosted: 25 Jan 2015, 21:22
by subsy
Thanks, Chris. Some good advice there! Mike

Re: Puppets For Sale

PostPosted: 26 Jan 2015, 19:05
by subsy
Congratulations on the sales, James.