Collezione Maria Signorelli





Eastern and Wayang puppets and marionettes



Life of Maria Signorelli

Puppets of Maria Signorelli  

The Puppets of Maria Signorelli -i fantocci

The fairy tales, nursery rhymes and films

Shows with classical and modern texts, films

  The ballets of Maria  Signorelli



Podrecca Fund 

Trieste puppets 


19th-20th century Italian rod and glove puppets

18th century Italian marionettes 

19th-20th century Italian marionettes 

20th century foreign rod and string puppets 

Eastern and Wayang puppets and marionettes

Sicilian, Pugliese and Neapolitan puppets  


Shadow puppets


Toy rod, glove and string puppets    

Seven trunks of stage properties

  Paper and card theatres, sets and characters   



Italian and foreign literature on the history and techniques of puppet theatre

Toy theatres  

Scripts of puppet and marionette plays  

Posters of puppet theatre productions and festivals

The exhibitions

Around sixty items constitute a particularly interesting collection, thanks to the variety of their methods of construction, testimony to the diversity of craftsmanship and techniques  of countries as different as, for example, China and Pakistan, Indonesia and Japan. 


The Chinese section is particularly outstanding and comprises thirty puppets of an average height between 28 and 38cm, with very accurate costumes and gesso faces that seem coated in porcelain, the details are so refined. They are items dating from the 1970s and 1980s. Much older, however, are two Japanese puppet heads from the beginning of the twentieth century. 


Of particular interest is a collection of 17 Pakistani marionettes of very popular make, which were used in country fairs to narrate episodes of local life: there are snake-charmers, a camel, a cobra, a crocodile, girl dancers and jugglers. 


Three Thai marionettes are noteworthy, 70cm high, with glass eyes and very elegant clothes: the fineness of the faces (in which the mouth is movable) is remarkable and the fingers are all articulated, as is consistent with the theatre of that country, which assigns a precise symbolic value to the least movement of the hands. 

There are also various puppets and marionettes from India: among them a pair of puppets from the famous artist Meher Contractor of Ahmedabad, with simply drawn features and clothes that recapture the style of the typical costumes of the region. 


The collection also includes fifteen Wayang puppets from 40 to 65cm high, of very refined make and presumably from the first half of the twentieth century. 

A head of a Chinese dragon is very striking, 40cm high and 48cm wide, in  papier mâché painted in bright colours with fragments of mirror stuck on, a beard, and eyebrows applied to eyes that open and shut.  





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