The Alchemist Marionette ~ Myanmar 1960s

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  • $135.00 USD
  • Regular price $165.00 USD
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Situated between China and India, Myanmar (also known as Burma) is home to some of the most beautiful marionettes made in South East Asia. Always full of expression and masterfully handcrafted, their puppet theatre tradition dates back to the 15th century and since then it's been used to educate people in history, religion and various aspects of life.

This large marionette depicting the Alchemist – one of the good characters of the show – is a fine example of Myanmar's devoted care when it comes to puppet making. Different from smaller versions sold as souvenirs, this puppet stands 27 inches tall (without the strings) and it was made circa 1960s. It is beautifully hand carved from white teak and delicately hand painted. The face expression with a horse hair beard is exquisite. A designated string for the mouth allows it to open and close. This marionette is also nicely dressed in an eye-catching outfit, embellished with colorful sequins, drapes and trims. A curiosity is that the sexual organs are always carved on Burmese puppets, even though they are hidden by the clothes.

As other traditional human figures in the show, this marionette is made up of head, neck, arms, legs and a central body piece, all connected and made from wood. The strings are divided in two groups. The first set is attached to the H-shaped wooden control, animating the head, the shoulders and the rump. The other set drapes loosely on the control and move the upper arms, hands, thighs, and feet. The correct manipulation of these marionettes require many years of practice. But their fine beauty is enough reason to acquire one of them. Don't miss out on the opportunity of bringing this amazing piece of puppetry art to your collection!  

  • Condition: Used and pre-owned string puppet. Gently used and fully functional. Shows some age wear with scuff, paint loss and loose stitching. Please determine the condition by yourself, taking a close look at all pictures and asking questions.
  • Origin: Myanmar (Burma)
  • Brand: hand made by local artisans
  • Year: circa 1960s
  • Size: 27 in/68 cm tall
  • Materials: wood, fabric, sequins, horse hair


    WARNING:
    This vintage string puppet does not comply with current safety standards and is intended for adult use only.



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