Masterpiece of the Week: The Codman Judy, 1860

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Judy Puppet
Circa 1860
The Museum of Liverpool
She may not be as old as Mr. Punch, and she may not have always been called “Judy” (she began in Britain as a character named “Joan”), but Judy is as much a part of the history of world culture as her illustrious husband.

This long-suffering, wooden-headed lady, can’t be considered the world’s best mother. She did marry Mr. Punch, after all, and leaves her baby in the care of her irresponsible mate, but she’s fiercely protective of her offspring and becomes quite enraged when her child is made into sausage—as one does.

So, in honor of Mother’s Day and Mr. Punch’s impending birthday, we pay homage to Judy with this lovely puppet which is one of the original pieces from the Codman Family. Codman’s is a family-operated theatre which has been a part of Liverpool, England culture since the 1860’s.

Still in excellent condition, this Judy is no worse for wear after thousands of beatings. With her pinched face and slight snarl, she’s still a formidable force after over a century. ads

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