Father Christmas marionette, by Waldo Lanchester

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Date:1940 - 1945 (c.)

Description:This Father Christmas is bald with a large white beard and he wears a red hooded cloak. This puppet was originally made as a policeman and he still wears his blue uniform underneath the cloak.

Waldo Lanchester (1897-1978) was at the forefront of the British revival in popularity of the string puppet and was a leading player in the formative years of the British Puppet & Model Theatre Guild, which remains Britain's leading Puppetry Organisation.

With colleague Harry Whanslaw, Waldo established the London Marionette Theatre in Hammersmith in 1927 - the first puppets anywhere in the world to appear on television.

Assisted by his wife, Muriel, he went on to run the Lanchester Marionette Theatre, based in Malvern, from 1936 to 1949 including a prestigious appearance at Buckingham Palace in 1938. For the 1949 Malvern Festival, George Bernard Shaw wrote the play "Shakes v Shav" specially for the Lanchester Marionettes and the Company's repertoire also included Opera, Ballet, Plays and a Grand Puppet Circus.

This marionette forms part of the Hayward Puppet Collection, now part of the Staffordshire County Museum collection.


Timeline

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1820s
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1850s
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1870s
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1900s
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1920s
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1940s
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1960s
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1980s
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2010s
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Image courtesy of: Mr Douglas Haywood

Donor ref:2007.022.0312 (37/26877)

Source: Staffordshire Museum Service

Copyright information: Copyrights to all resources are retained by the individual rights holders. They have kindly made their collections available for non-commercial private study & educational use. Re-distribution of resources in any form is only permitted subject to strict adherence to the usage guidelines.