Alternate name: Les Petites Marionnettes (Seems to be sometimes spelled Marionnettes.)
Marionnette a la
planchette on a String
Often times on a street side or at the local Faire you might see what we today might call a Busker, Street Performer, or Showman (NOT Beggars) performing on the street side with one or two small puppets called Marionnette a la Planchette Dolls. Seeming to originate in the 17th century, these dolls were actually suspended from a long piece of cord going through a hole at chest level. One end would be tied to a tree or stand of some sort. The other to the leg of the Showman. In the middle would be one or two Marionnette a la Planchette Dolls dancing in time to the operator's music. Our friend Cyril Hobbins writes "It is recorded that folks were amazed at the doll's antics. Very popular were the male & female dolls that appeared to cavort together, thought to be very risque at the time." To one side or on the costume of the Performer would be a small cup to take the donation that a passer by would throw in now and then.
Our Marionnette a la Planchette dolls are special order due to the labor involved in making them and the fact that they are such a special item.
'''The Dancing Man, the Marionnette a la Planchette, and the Humanette are all very closely related forms of puppetry. One type is done with rods and wires or strings. Perry Como was apparently a real enthusiast of the Humanette.
Photo below from "A History of Toys" by Antonia Fraser
Part of engraving "Les Petites
published in France 1820
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