Collezione Maria Signorelli
Paper and card theatres, sets and characters
(with assembly instructions)
Puppets of Maria Signorelli
The fairy tales, nursery rhymes and films
Shows with classical and modern texts, films
The ballets of Maria Signorelli
19th 20th century Italian rod and glove puppets
19th 20th century Italian marionettes
20th century foreign rod and string puppets
Sicilian, Pugliese and Neapolitan puppets
rod, glove and string puppets
and card theatres, sets and characters
of puppet and marionette plays
of puppet theatre productions and festivals
This section contains hundreds of items in paper and cardboard, dating from the end of the nineteenth and up to the end of the twentieth centuries, and of varied provenance (Great Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, the former Yugoslavia, etc).
With these sheets various scenes can be constructed, from toy theatres to zoos, castles, shops, farms, nativity scenes, dolls’ houses, trains, sailing ships, airplanes, etc.
A block of German sets of the early twentieth century (40 x 54cm) is constituted by backcloth and wings for a total of 25 sets: among them an inn, a military camp, a ‘Faust’s study’, a ‘Serpent’s cave’ and a tropical forest and clouds. Three sheets feature the characters in Cinderella, The Frog Prince and Giacomo Meyerbeer’s The Prophet.
Fourteen sheets of various scenes and the same number of sheets of characters pertain to diverse theatrical productionss and are the work of the Danish designer Alfred Jaconsens.
Various sheets from France of the so-called ‘Imagerie d’Epinal’ are also worthy of note, from the beginning of the twentieth century. Also from France (probably from the end of the nineteenth century) are ten sheets of ‘Chinese shadows’ which can be cut out, measuring 35 x 40cm. For example, one sheet contains boats, ships, rowing boats and fish, and another the figures from the Venice Carnival. In this section there are also a large number of characters to be cut out, such as dolls with their clothes (Italy, Switzerland, Yugoslavia), characters from fairy tales (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, from Czechoslovakia), farm animals, animals from the North Pole, the jungle, the zoo (France, Germany, Italy,...).
Added to these are various Danish and Swedish ‘Advent Calendars’ from the 1960s, folding Christmas decorations from the 1950s (Father Christmases, holly, garlands with little bird, and so on), as also books for cutting out and assembling with the locations and characters of the tales of Aladdin, Robinson Crusoe, Little Red Riding Hood, The Little Match Girl and Hansel and Gretel (Germany, Denmark, Great Britain), dating from the 1960s.
One piece, which for convenience is included in this section, is an English cardboard theatre from the beginning of the nineteenth century, 60 x 45cm in size; it is three-dimensional and has a square stage on which some acrobats move suspended from a wire.