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Dean & Son - French adaptation of Royal Punch & Judy Books. LE POLICHINELLE DES CHAMPS ELYSEES [c 1880] movable book Capendu
Polichinelle des Champs Elysées


 
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Polichinelle des Champs Elysées

Movable Published by A. Capendu,Editeur, Paris

Author: Armand Bourgade

Date: ca. 1880

Medium: Color lithography and hand colored lithography

Dimensions: folio 14 15/16 x 9 5/8 x 3/8 in. (38 x 24.5 x 1 cm)

Condition: All 6 Movable scenes complete and working. One replacement part on scene 3.
See individual scene descriptions and photos.

Polichinelle is the French version of the Italian character Pulcinella and later English Punch. Capendu published several french versions of movables by Dean & Son for the French Market. This adaptation of Dean's Royal Punch and Judy books is unique to the French market.
Polichinelle was firmly established in France by the middle of the 17th century. The character evolved into the harlequinades of the 18th and 19th century pantomimes which were very popular in puppet and marionette shows and appears in many publications including movable books. The book, Polichineele, like many of the time period, was intended not only to entertain but also to teach morals or virtues. It is in exceptionally good condition especially considering many joyful joyful pulls on the tabs. The pull-tabs appear to all be original, in good condition, with the usual finger smudges. The only tears that appear in the book are those related to the pull-tab areas and are noted in each scene's description. The cover and fly sheets, showing little wear, have been reattached. Only one page (Third Scene) has been reattached. The original sewing is intact. There are a few fragile areas where the pages show slight pulling from the sewing.

The original spine cloth is in good condition. The covers show minor edge wear. There is a bend on both covers in the lower right corner. The front cover is basically clean and depicts a colorful scene of a smiling Polichinelle with outstretched arms greeting the audience. The back cover has some smudges and a 1" torn section at the top. All tears or repairs are noted in the descriptions. All the pages are in good condition showing some age coloring. Although somewhat fragile but still clean, bright and colorful all the movements are in good working order. In total, a very desirable book in unusually good condition.

Scene Premiere (First Scene) is set in a theatrical setting with a large audience in the foreground. The audience shows family groups, as a man plays a chello, enjoying the play. This same audience group appears in each of the movable scenes. On stage are the charactes Polichinelle and Guignol. Polichinelle greets the audience welcoming them to the comedy 'Le Diable Rosse." He introduces himself and his friend Guigno and laughingly asks Guigno to join him in a joke of pulling Diable Rosse' s tail. Guignol refuses saying if he did, "I run away, the devil would only find me with you and he would beat me with the handle of his fork." With that goodby the scene ends. All words from the text throughout are not in exact direct translation but are used to convey the story as accurately as possible. A pull of the tab causes both characters to move toward each other. A tear in bottom center has been reglued and does not affect the quality of the picture.

Scene Deux (Second Scene) Polichinelle and Arlequin appear on the same stage. Arlequin, in harlequine dress, wears a mask and holds a bat. The two greet each other in a friendly manner but Polichinelle soon attempts to get Arlequin to agree to help him thrash the devil. Arlequin does not think Polchinelle is strong enough and suggests Guignol or Madame Polichinelle to help him. But Polchinelle calls Guignol a ''coward" and says his wife, although in good health, never wants to help him thrash the devil. Arlequin then suggests he will ask Pierrot to help. The hopeful Polchinelle agrees saying if Pierrot consents they will meet afterwards. The pull-tab moves them forward toward each other. There is one vey small tear at the pull-tab area.

Scene Troisieme (Third Scene) shows Arlequin holding the bat in an outreached arm with Pierrot nearby looking toward the audience. The text begins with friendly greeting but quickly gets to the request for help with Diable. Pierrot immediately replies, "I'm too scared." Arlequin threatens Pierrot saying he needs to redeem his sins but Pierrot replies telling of his good deeds. Arlequen again demands his help "...to redeem your sins, show yourself brave!" Again Pierrot speaks " No, I'm too afraid." After hearing that reply Arlequin calls himself a true friend who will not leave Polichinelle alone to fight with the devil. As the tab is pulled Alequin moves toward Pierrot swinging the bat as if threatening hit him. Pierrot moves downward and the bat barely misses hitting his head. This is the only movement in the book that contains replacements - Pierrot and the bat. A long tear in the audience, hardly noticable, has been neatly re-glued. The page has been reattached to the following page.

Scene Quatrieme (Fourth Scene) is in almost perfect condition as a happy Polichiunelle reaches toward a smiling Chat (cat).
The text is a charming conversation between the two. After Polchinelle tells the cat his good news of wacking the devil, the cat expreses his willingness to have helped with his big claws. Polchinelle then refers to his brave kitty, faithful and devoted, obeidient and sweet, saying he is better than many people who are terrible hypocrites. The cat responds that he feel like his child saying he never makes faces and is very clean. Polichinelle responds, with a lesson in morals, "And especially not a liar! How many children, who despair of their good parents, should take you as model." There is only a very small tear at the pull-tab.

Scene Cinquieme (Fifth Scene) introduces two new characters - Madame Polichinelle and Madame Guignol. Madame Polichinelle is easily recognizable with the same facial features and similar dress to Polichinelle. Madame Guignol is more simply dressed and wearing an apron. The lessons in morals continues in this scene. Ms Polichinelle brags that her husband has just whacked the devil alone. She says that although hunchback, a bit ugly with his hooked nose and chin that he is mostly very courageous. Madame Guignol responds "This proves that we should not rely on appeareance." The dialogue continues with a discussion of their love for children and if children do not take examples of virtues it will end badly for them. Madame Guignol, in speaking of her somewhat problem son, ends with "There is nothing better in the world than following the advise of his mother." As in the former scene this moveable also is in near perfect condition with only a very small tear at the pull-tab.

Scene Cinquieme (Fifth Scene) introduces two new characters - Madame Polichinelle and Madame Guignol. Madame Polichinelle is easily recognizable with the same facial features and similar dress to Polichinelle. Madame Guignol is more simply dressed and wearing an apron. The lessons in morals continues in this scene. Ms Polichinelle brags that her husband has just whacked the devil alone. She says that although hunchback, a bit ugly with his hooked nose and chin that he is mostly very courageous. Madame Guignol responds "This proves that we should not rely on appeareance." The dialogue continues with a discussion of their love for children and if children do not take examples of virtues it will end badly for them. Madame Guignol, in speaking of her somewhat problem son, ends with "There is nothing better in the world than following the advise of his mother." As in the former scene this moveable also is in near perfect condition with only a very small tear at the pull-tab.

Scene Sixieme (Sixth Scene) is the final scene in the play. Here a smiling Polichinelle meets Le Diable (the Devil). With a pull each bends toward the other as Polichinelle raises his arm lifting a bell in his hand. The text begins with Le Diable saying "Polichinellle, you nag me, I'll take the end of my fork!" But Polichinelle refers to himself as a man of honorwho can scare the devil. With that Le Diable, fleeing, cries out "I am defeated by the cunning jester!" Polichinelle ends the play by advising children to observe their morality. Evidently a happy ending as on the left page the author's name appears at the end of the text. In fine condition only the tear from the pull-tab area has been reglued.

Note: There is a good deal of interesting information on the internet on the history of Pulcinella, Punchinello, and Punch-and Judy as well as the other characters associated with their stories.

For collector interest in addition look also at our website: The Great Punch Theatre, Royal Moveable Punch & Judy and Le Grand Guignol.

Questions? E-mail us at info@vintagepopupbooks.com
$950.00


Product Code: CAP-1

Description
 
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