The Great Punch
The Great Punch
Theatre: An Amusing Picture Book of Six Plays Acted by Mr. Punch.
Printed in Germany.
London, H. Grevel & Co., n.d. .
12 1/2 X 9 1/2 "
pages. Six original plays written in rhyme illustrated on six movable pages.
The movables work
The cover image is
from Paul Wagner, who has redrawn the original panels designed by C. Häberlin
of the original version from 1864. From Lothar Meggendorfer come the b / w
Listed on page of 296
The Lothar Meggendorfer bibliograohy, A.
This book is the
English edition of:
Esslingen: J.F. Schreiber, . with 6 color-lithographed plates by P.
and 9 illustrations by Meggendorfer.
The English and
German editions have the exact same images and movables.
Condition: The book is in
excellent condition. All parts are
complete and original and all movables are fully functioning. The wire coils are
fine and show no staining on opposite pages.
The covers are in near fine condition, clean with very little wear. The
front cover is brightly colored and the original red cloth spine is fine. All pages are in good condition with only faint age
yellowing. The book is tight held by
original string, The pages have been reattached. The theatre scenes are bright colors
and fully functioning. A couple minor
tears were professionally and invisibly repaired.
Description of book: The book begins with
a Playbill followed by Punch's Address to the Audience with "splitting
your sides with laughter" promises. The rollicking comical old rascal with
a wicked grin and beaky nose whose antics have been known and laughed at around
the world is now 350 years old. The enduring popularity of the witty and lively
Punch in many forms has made him the most famous puppet character of all time.
Let's open the book
and as Punch says, "...the play is now about to begin."
Each of the six
stories is presented in a theatre stage setting with delighted audiences below. Each scene has a different audience. It is interesting to note the various
activities and attitudes of the audiences as well as the movable actions.
1. Punch and the
Sportsman: Punch disguised as a hare
makes fun of the hunter. With a pull
down the hunter leans forward. lifts and points his gun at the hare who merely
wiggles his ear One ear and the barrel
of the gun had a small tear re-glued and there is a small corner tear on bottom
of the pull..
2. Punch as Crocodile, and Little Tomkins: Punch (who often disguises as other
characters) also mocks fun at Tomkins who is fully prepared for big fishing. Punch
wins the show as Tompkins begins to run away.
A gentle downward pull toward the left gets Tomkins dashing away as the
crocodile snaps at his coat. The only repair is a tiny re-gluing of the
crocodile's mouth grabbing the jacket.
Light pencil marks indicate the necessary directional of the pull.
3. Punch as a Robber Chief: Punch is usually getting away or trying to
escape the police. Here a stick-wielding
Punch pulls a robbery while pretending to be a robber chief with a gun and
knife tucked at his side in a bright red belt.
The rascal swings at his victim who ducks to avoid the blow. Yes, Punch gets his money. A small tear in the stage lower curtain and a
tear on the script bottom has been re-glued.
4. The Arrest of
Punch: Here a clown-like Punch attempts
to get away from Heaviboots, a policeman.
As the policeman attempts to hit him with his stick Punch ducks down
into a box. A pull of the tab swings the
policeman and his stick as Punch quickly jumps inside a box. But the policeman
gets his prisoner this time in the story.
5. Mrs. Punch's Petition: A very desperate Judy (Mrs Punch) approaches
a judge petitioning the release of her husband.
She bows and bends as a frowning judge
jerks his head up and down. However, not
shown in the picture but told in the story, a bottle of wine works and she
obtains the promise of his freedom.
6. Will Catchem, and Punch as Rathernot: Here Punch appears in his most typical clown
costume, a large red nose and a humped back.
He carries a large bat and bends
forward to beat the "A creature black, with horny pate" as Catchem
leaps back and forth to miss the blows.
(Notice the play on
word names - Heaviboots, Catchem and Rathernot)
Punch and Judy have
always been very popular and mechanical/movable booksmuch enjoyed by
children and, therefore, delightfully played with. The results have been few
survived in good condiion. This is a
nice exception and deserving applause .
It would be a welcome addition to any collection.