Carved and Painted Tobacconist Figure of Punch, late 19th C. Strong attribution to noted American carver Samuel Robb of New York City. Holding a bunch of cigars in his left hand, right hand bent at the elbow with hand in the air. Wonderful color and patina, 78”H. Please contact us for further information and price.
A Punch tobacconist figure is rare and highly prized. Most of us associate this diabolical, sneaky figure with the English Punch and Judy puppet shows, but it’s history goes back much further. Punch's lineage can be traced with absolute certainty to Pulcinella of the Renaissance Commedia dell'arte, where it represented the characteristics of the people of Naples. Some scholars believe it traces back over 2,500 years to the Atellan farce, but this has never been proven. One thing is certain, the Punch-like character has been a stock figure of the theatre since the earliest days of the Greek mime as ancient bronzes and terracottas have proved.