The Jacquard Puppets 'The Butterflies and Bees',
butterfly, swarm of nine bees, a single wasp, long 'bee', small fruit (for lying on the ground),
largest 43cm high approximately (5)
The delightfully feminine butterfly and the bees made their first appearance in December 1942 and performed frequently in the 1940s.
Take advantage of our Sworders Delivery Service. Please see 'Shipping estimate' below.
We’re delighted to offer this collection of marionettes, theatre props and staging made by John Carr (1884-1971). Some of the puppets were used in the early days of British television, appearing in twenty-one live BBC broadcasts in the late 1930s.
John Carr and his cast of characters performed as The Jacquard Puppet Company between 1933 and 1970. The company was one of a few to use small marionettes (each measuring between 12 and 14 inches tall) - something that was very much in its favour in the early days of television.
Carr was given the chance to perform in front of the camera in 1937 – less than a decade after the first-ever experimental BBC television broadcast (30 September 1929) and just months after the BBC Television Service officially launched from a converted wing of Alexandra Palace in London (2 November 1936).
Meeting an enthusiastic reception, he gained the support of the influential BBC TV pioneer Cecil Madden and was encouraged to develop new and more complex acts. A talented woodcarver and lifelong member of the British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild, Carr made his own puppets with the costumes provided by his wife, Eva.
In its pomp, the company (aided by the couple’s four children) used around 100 different marionettes – characters with titles such as Barnacle Bill the Sailor, The Walrus and The Carpenter, Barney the Bashful Bullfrog and William the Yokel. Many referenced characters that were popular on stage and screen.
The Cello Trio (lot 212) first appeared in 1936 and became one of the most popular acts. John Carr made great efforts to make the actions as realistic as possible and the only surviving moving image of the puppets shows how well this worked. In March 1936, a reviewer wrote: '...the wizardry with which Mr Carr and his family manipulate the violinist, cellist and pianist in synchrony with the recording of a complicated trio was as amazing as ever...'. Sir Adrian Boult is quoted as saying that the lady cellist had the typical 'cellist's expression'.
Sold for £260
The Jacquard puppets - general condition report
The puppets have been stored for many years, the strings have mainly gone, and those that are left are fragile and snap easily and most will need to be restrung. Some were made just before the second world war, others in the following two decades. They were made from whatever was available, pieces of wood, leather, dress and upholstery fabrics, felt, etc. The clothing and fabrics are generally in reasonable condition. Some have detached limbs, where the articulated joint fixings have perished or strings come loose
To bid in person at auction for the first time please register for a bidding paddle in advance by filling out and submitting a registration form at our front desk. When registering in person we require photo ID, such as a passport or driving licence.
If you cannot attend the auction in person we can bid on your behalf. You can leave an absentee bid on our website.
The amount you bid should be your maximum bid. We will bid up to that limit for you, and remember you may end up paying less than your limit, depending on other bidding on the day.
You can leave an absentee bid up to half an hour before the start of any sale. Please note when we receive two or more absentee bids for the same amount, the first bid received will be the one taken.
LEAVE COMMISSION BIDS ONLINE
If you would like to leave a commission bid on our website you can do so up until 30 minutes before the sale starts. Leaving a commission bid through sworder.co.uk is free for all registered clients. Thereafter you may register bank card details under your account in order to bid live. Click here to register an account.
BID LIVE ON sworder.co.uk
You can bid live at our auctions from the comfort of your home or office using bidding platform Sworders Live. It is easy to register and you can watch the auction live as it happens. A 'Bid Live' button will appear on the auction on our website homepage when a sale is live; simply click the button to sign in or register with your card details. There is no additional charge for this service.
For further instructions on registering to bid live, please click here.
If you would like to bid by telephone please contact our team prior to the auction with your details of the lots you are interested in and your full name, address, telephone number(s) and email address. Once our team have entered your bid request you will receive an email confirmation. We will contact you during the sale and one of our team will bid live with you over the phone.
Please note that we normally offer this service for lots with an estimate of £500 or higher and all telephone bid requests must be received by close of business the day before the auction.
Auction: Design - Two Day Sale, Tue, 17th May 2022
Viewing will be held at our Stansted Auction Rooms, Cambridge Road, Stansted Mountfitchet CM24 8GE, as follows:
Sat 14 May, 10am - 1pm
Sun 15 May, 10am - 1pm
Mon 16 May, 10am - 5pm
All lots are, however, extensively illustrated and carry detailed condition reports - see 'Condition report' at the foot of each lot description.
Please select the shipping destination;
Sorry, we cannot calculate a pre-sale automated shipping cost due to the items weight/size.
Should you be successful in buying this item, a specific shipping estimate can be requested after the sale by using the link in your invoice email; this also includes requests for international delivery.
If you would like further information about shipping and collection please see here.
Buying a pre-loved, antique, or vintage item not only provides you with unique style and value for money but it also helps to reduce landfill, and the annual emissions of an antique or vintage piece can be as little as one sixteenth of those of its new equivalent!
Sworders is proud to be supporting the work of Antiques are Green - the movement that was founded in 2009 to promote “a greener future created from the past”. Read their fascinating carbon footprint study of a Georgian chest of drawers versus a modern equivalent here
Here at Sworders, we are happy to offer a free online valuation service. Please fill out the form and press the 'Submit' button below.
To help us with your valuation please attach clear photographs of the item where possible. You can submit up to 5.
Approximate dimensions are also useful. Expect to hear from the appropriate valuer as soon as possible.