Vintage puppets pack a punch in sale


The highlight of the Cotswold Auction Company’s last sale of the year was a collection of vintage Punch and Judy puppets and memorabilia, with a bidding war between a telephone bidder and a room bidder over a lot of seven painted and carved wood Punch and Judy puppets coming to a dramatic head at £4,600.

The lot contained a few fun pieces, including a sausage machine and a crocodile; however the most important pieces in the lot were Punch and Judy themselves, thought to have been made c.1890 by Professor Albert Rose, a scenery painter for the English National Opera based in Great Yarmouth. At the weekends his passion was putting on Punch and Judy shows on Gorlestone-on-Sea and other Norfolk beaches.

Elsewhere, a Weymouth pattern group of papiermache Punch and Judy puppets brought £1,100, while remaining puppets, booth, posters, signs, newspaper clippings and accessories from this collection totalled over £2,000.

Other highlights of the sale included the salt-glazed stoneware aquatic vase attributed to the Martin Brothers, which flew away for £5,500.