Raphael Tuck Paper Toy - Punch and Judy theater puppet show stages and all 5 puppets – Extra Fine
Die-cut, Embossed, Chromolithograph 4-sided upright theater with all 5 original puppets
This piece when folded is flat ( 6 inches wide x 4 1/4 inches high). Opens up to a three-dimensional standing box-type rectangle via tabs fitting into slots. And a lift-up puppet show curtain.
The separate puppets have long handles so you can make a puppet show with the various characters by inserting them through a slot near the bottom of the theater when the “stage curtain” is opened. The characters move by sliding them back and forth or up and down using tab extensions.
Folded out it is 6 inches high, 2.5 inches wide, and 1.75 inches deep. (15cm X 6cm X 4cm)
Extremely rare even without the puppets – this is the only one that we have ever seen that has 5 of its original puppets. Punch and Judy was #1 in Tuck’s stage theater series.
Condition – Extra Fine. The stage and puppets are all in excellent undamaged condition. The only tiny flaw we see is that one of the tabs was at some point reinforced with a small piece of tape – see photo.
Date – According to Whitton and from the inscription on the stage, these paper toys were created sometime between 1893 and 1901.
Logo on the theater states:
Easel logo with TRADE MARK ARTISTIC SERIES then “No. 1 “ “PUBLISHERS TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN /RAPHAEL TUCK & SONS, LONDON, PARIS & NEW YORK / DESIGNED AT THE STUDIOS IN ENGLAND AND PRINTED AT THE FINE ART WORKS IN GERMANY”
This puppet show series is pictured on pages 30 and 31 of the Tuck reference book: Collector's Guide to Raphael Tuck & Sons: Paper Dolls, Paper Toys & Children's Books by Blair Whitton - Published by Hobby House Press Inc, 1991
Whitton cited 4 puppets for the Punch and Judy show but this one, which just came to market, shows us that were originally at least 5 puppets, not 4. It appears possible that the first edition set contained 5 puppets and the second edition set contained 4 different puppets.
Collect them all - There were 6 in this stage series :
Note: None of these can be found anywhere online. There are none for sale or in libraries or in past auction results. The only place that we can find this set is on our favorite Raphael Tuck reference site:
1. Punch & Judy
2. Happy Family
3. The Lovely Ella
4. Romeo & Juliet
5. Walk up! walk up!
6. THE MARVELLOUS MENAGERIE
About the artist - A & H Payne : Harry and Arthur PayneHarry Payne (1859-1927). Along with his brother, Arthur C. Payne (1856 - 1933), Harry produced many oilette postcards and other illustrations for Raphael Tuck & Sons . Their collaboration often meant that Arthur would paint the background and Harry the figure portraits.