Columbine Marionette, Richard Barnard

Columbine Marionette, Richard Barnard

Columbine Marionette
Richard Barnard
Wood, cloth and hair
19th century
66 cm x 37 cm - arms by side
Museum no. S.892-1981

This marionette of the character 'Columbine' was made by Richard Barnard, of the Barnard Troupe who toured the UK and abroad in the 1870's. Her arms are carved and partially bent. She wears a pink silk dress (bodly frais) over a stiffened gauze petticoat with many layers and stiff gauze knickers. She has a cream lace around her bodice and cream stockings to her ankles, and painted gold shoes. She has real hair and a jointed neck. She has two knee strings and two hand strings and one string above each ear - fixed to a wooden three bar control.

Harlequin and Columbine were essential characters in Victorian pantomime, and in marionette versions of pantomime. They appeared in the 'Harlequinade', which was essentially a long and involved chase during which Harlequin and Columbine escape from various characters including Pantaloon and Clown, having comic and acrobatic adventures along the way.