Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hand Puppets - Christmas 1952

Join everyone of at My Romantic Home for the Christmas edition of
Show and Tell Friday. Merry Christmas to everyone!

This was the beginning of another collection of characters at Christmas time 1952. They dwarf the Storybook Dolls and became a favorite gift over the next few years as I received more characters. I began giving puppet shows with these hand puppets when I was about 10 and made good money doing birthday parties for dependent families and their children.

All during the year I would visit the little toy store on a side street in downtown Schwetzingen to dream about which puppet I might receive for the next Christmas. And I always made a stop to visit with the pretzel lady and usually received a free pretzel.  She always remarked at how my grasp of the German language improved as the months and years went by.

Christmas 1952 with my baby brother laughing it up with me visible, since the puppets scared him when he couldn't see me.

These are hand puppets with carved wooden heads from F. H. Bross in Stuttgart.  They all have their original clothes and hang tags. The cast of characters allows most any story of good and evil to be told.  This troop of performers are very used to the floodlights and "treading the boards," as theater folks like to say.

There is the “Punch” type character (whose name has escaped me over the years), with his rather dimwitted side-kick.

The King and The Princess

The Princess' Nurse who always accompanies her.

The Granny, who can also portray a witch when one is called for.

The Woodsman, who can be a dark evil character
or a kindly one who rescues lost children from the deep dark forests.

The Chinaman, who was always the bad guy.
Politically totally incorrect in today's terms by name and characterization,
but it was a different time back then.

The Wolf and the Alligator who were always bad guys.
The carved wooden alligator came before a newer plastic one,
whose jaws don't snap shut loudly like the wooden one
and isn't nearly as effective at scaring little kids.

The senior member of the troop takes a final curtain call
and thanks you for stopping by, while the rest of the cast waits in the wings.

I still have the puppet theater which is yellow and red with painted characters,
green curtains and a double sided backdrop with one exterior and one interior view.
The theater is packed away in the attic, but the puppets are on display in a glass cabinet.
It's been a very long time since I gave a puppet show. :-)


  1. Wow, how cool are your puppets!....and you still have them too.
    I'm sure you have many great memories when you look at them.
    Wanted to tell you that I love your header.
    Christmas blessings to you and your family.

  2. An amazing cast of characters! Thanks so much for sharing. They are so unique!
    **Merry Christmas**

  3. What a marvelous collection of puppets and interest Show & Tell!!!

  4. The puppet family is super. I enjoyed revisiting their story.

  5. What a wonderful collection!! I think children miss out on so much these days- I wonder how many give puppet shoes or sled, or make snowmen these days-


  6. That is so wonderful that you still have them and that you have pictures of yourself playing with them! I love that!!!

  7. Hello,

    What a WONDERFUL collection. You playing with them, all the characters, your memories and you keeping them all together, FANTASTIC !

    I can only imagine with glee the fun you must have had growing up with these and how dear they are to you now.

    Thank you so much for sharing, your post has been a delight to read.

    Until next time I wish you and all of yours good health with heaps of love and joy.

  8. These are wonderful! What a great story. They remind me of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Thanks for sharing!


    PS I'm having a give away. Come by and see me.

  9. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!!!

    What an awesome collection and fantastic post!

    My Show n Tell is a gift to me from years ago...ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH

  10. Great collection, you have taken very good care of them WOW, thank you for sharing !

  11. Thanks for stopping by everyone and playing "toys" with me!

    Liz, when my son was little he watched Mr. R's Neighborhood and I always thought King Friday looked like my King!

    A project that has long been planned, but I never seem to get to it, is to restore the puppet theater that I've moved around with me for the 46 years. Someday.

  12. WOW!! What a treasure you have in those puppets. I have never seen anything like them. They are so well preserved and beautifully made!

    Happy holidays,


  13. They are simply gorgeous. I used to collect dolls from Italy that remind me of these. Thanks for posting. Please come join my Gorgeous Vintage Sterling Silver Give Away! It'll take seconds of your time & you'll be glad you did when you see the photo!

  14. Oh Lady Elaine and King Friday! Such memories.

  15. What an amazing collection. They are all in such great shape, too!


  16. Thanks for stopping by ladies! The puppets are all looking forward to another Christmas!

  17. I have one puppets that is just like one you have. I'd like to know more about it, if you have any details. He is smiling, pointed turned up nose, red cheeks, eyes closed, bald, plade pants, blue jacket and has a brass plate on the back of his neck Bross.What's his name? What could the value be?

  18. I have their names written down somewhere, but haven't located them yet. Don't know anything about value ..... mine are "priceless" to me. :-)


  19. Thanks Candy...I've learned some things by reading your posts. The one I have is in your pictures, directly above the picture of the King.I've had it for a long time. If you find his name let me know. That would be interesting.
    Thank you, D

  20. Hi Candy! Didn't know until I read your blog on your puppets what my wooden head was;) A Woodsman! Not a lot of information on Mr Bross, but MY! have you seen how many sales there are for these vintage German puppets? I'd love to make an outfit for the woodsman, and would love to know if you'd post a picture of the backside of him. ... Most Sincerely, Brenda


Thank you for your lovely comments.

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