Candler's Street Fantoccini

Candlers street fantoccini illustration

Fantoccini is the name for a puppet show where marionettes are operated and animated by the use of wires, strings or some mechanical means. Fantoccini translates from the Italian as 'little puppets' and derives from the words fantoccio (puppet) and fante (boy). The fantoccini would usually have been performed in Italian or French, with an explanation of the story in English at the end of each act. Candler's Fantoccini was performed in the streets of Pentonville, London. The varied programme included a chair-balancer, an Indian juggler, a dissecting skeleton and a neck-stretching Scaramouch.

Although we know Punch and Judy as hand puppets today, the original Pulcinella puppet play would have used hand-carved, wooden marionettes.

Location: George Cruikshank Collected Plates Vol.18 Collection of Prints from Drawings by George Cruikshank c1827 to 1873, Nos. 2451-3628. ISG AF741.941 CRU

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