String Puppet Item Number: 3351/7 a-c from the MOA: University of British Columbia


Opera dei Pupi puppet of the female character named Princess Angelica. Three-dimensional marionette carved of wood. The head (part b) is mounted on a long, hooked metal rod. The body is jointed at the elbows, shoulders, and hips – held together by fabric underneath main outfit. The left wrist has a length of black-brown cord tied to it, and the right wrist is tied with string to a long metal rod with an eye hook on each end. On her right ring finger, she wears a gold-coloured ring with a green jewel. She wears pink with silver damask top and pantaloons. A length of navy blue with peach floral pattern skirt is wrapped around the waist, and held with a belt of bright purple fabric adorned with sequins, and a row of beading hanging down. From her jeweled crown, a train woven fabric extends down. She wears a pair of beaded earrings, and a necklace (part c) around her neck. All the fabric is edged with gold applique. She has painted blue shoes with a flat tack or nail in each heel.

History Of Use

Puppet (Opera dei Pupi) representing the character Angelica . Opera dei Pupi is an internationally recognized form of marionette theatre from Sicily. Originating in the early 1800s, Opera dei Pupi is based on medieval romances and epic stories of King Carlo Magno (Charlemagne, 742-814 CE) and his Christian knights, who defended Europe against pagan and Islamic forces. The plays involve pomp and ceremony, unrequited love, violent battles and the death of puppets, as glinting swords clash, shining armour rings, bodies split and heads tumble. One example of a scene on stage is Orlando Furioso, which is based on the Italian epic poem by Ludovico Aristo, published in 1516. It shows King Carlo Magno calling forth his faithful knights, including the brave female knight, Bradamante, in preparation for battle. One at a time, he calls their names and sings their praises. On the edge of the scene lurks the villainous Agricane, King of Mongolia, who has captured Princess Angelica, whom Orlando loves.