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Punch's Judy with baby: C.872-1984

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Punch's Judy with baby


Production: Unidentified factory




White earthenware figure, press-moulded in two parts with separately moulded head and hump, and lead glazed. Painted underglaze in cobalt blue and in black, green, orange, red and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt.

Judy stands holding the baby in her left arm, her right hand resting on it. She has a pronounced upward pointing hump on her back and a pointed nose and chin. The figure is well coloured. She wears a blue jacket edged in gilt, with a ruff collar, a tall white hat and an orange and green check apron over a long orange skirt. Her hair is white and her teeth, bared in a menacing grin, are outlined in red. The baby wears a long white nightgown and cap, edged in gilt. The round base has a gilt line across the front and some radial marks on the top.The underside is open and glazed. The back is rounded, and partly decorated.


History note: From the collection of the late Colonel R.G. Turner.

Legal notes

Given by Mrs J.E.Campbell, from the collection of Col R.G.Turner, 1984

Measurements and weight

Depth: 8.3 cm
Depth: 3.25 in
Height: 21.5 cm
Height: 8.25 in
Width: 7.1 cm
Width: 2.75 in

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1984) by Cameron, J.E., Mrs


19th Century, Mid#
Victoria I
Circa 1845 CE - Circa 1865 CE


Punch and Judy is a traditional puppet show featuring the characters of Mr Punch and his wife, Judy. Derived from the Italian comedia del arte, the first records of Mr Punch in England date from c.1660. Originally a marionette performance, by Victorian times ‘Punch and Judy’ had become a popular glove-puppet show, performed from a portable booth by a single puppeteer. These shows travelled from town to town, and were particularly popular at the seaside. Punch is a hook-nosed, hump-backed figure whose high pitched, squeaky voice is produced through the use of a ‘swazzle’ or squeaker. The plots vary, but typically involve Punch attacking the other characters, who generally include his wife Judy, their baby, a hungry crocodile and a policeman, with a truncheon and a string of sausages amongst the props.

The use of underglaze blue and the partly moulded back on these figures suggests a date around c.1845-1865. There were many Punch and Judy figures made in the Victorian period, and there is little to indicate where this pair might have been made.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( black, green, orange, red and flesh-pink enamels) underglaze cobalt-blue gold

Materials used in production

White earthenware

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : White earthenware, press-moulded in two parts with separately moulded head and hump, and lead glazed. Painted underglaze in cobalt blue and in black, green, orange, red and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt. The base is open and glazed. The back is rounded, and partly decorated

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.872-1984
Primary reference Number: 76264
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Punch's Judy with baby" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-20 08:31:17

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{{cite web|url= |title=Punch's Judy with baby |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-20 08:31:17|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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