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Paperweight - Judy


  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Salford (made)

  • Date:

    1873-1876 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    John Derbyshire & Co. (makers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glass, press moulded

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Tom Howard

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This paperweight was produced by John Derbyshire in Salford, Manchester, where he operated from 1873 until 1876, specialising in pressed glass. Before the technique of glass pressing was perfected in the early 19th century, glass items were expensive because glass cutting and glass blowing were delicate and lengthy operations. By finding a way to press molten glass into moulds however, glass items were available at a reasonable price and this meant that working-class families could own practical but attractive glass objects such as paper-weights and candlesticks.

This represents Mr. Punch's long-suffering wife Judy who features in the British form of glove-puppet entertainment known as Punch and Judy shows. Mr. Punch himself was first recorded in 1662 by Samuel Pepys when he saw him as a marionette operated in Covent Garden by the Italian puppet showman Signor Bologna. Pulchinella, as he was then called, was presented within a tent, rather than in the type of booth we know today. The shows changed over the years, and the puppets changed from string to glove, but the story they told was always that of the comic but anarchic Punch dealing with marital strife and a shrewish wife. Judy was originally Joan, the most popular working-class girl's name during the 16th and 17th centuries, but changed her name to Judy in about 1818, about the same time that she changed from a marionette to a glove puppet. Judy is the only female character in Punch and Judy shows and in the 18th and 19th centuries generally returned as a ghost to haunt Punch. A companion piece to this shows Punch with his dog Toby (S.213-1998).

Physical description

Green pressed glass figurine of Judy sitting in an armchair on an integral circular base, both hands in front of her, her right leg crossed over her left and her cat by her right side, standing beside the chair.

Place of Origin

Salford (made)


1873-1876 (made)


John Derbyshire & Co. (makers)

Materials and Techniques

Glass, press moulded

Marks and inscriptions

Anchor mark with incorporated initials, JD
Raised mark on base


Height: 18.0 cm, Width: 11.6 cm also circumference of base

Descriptive line

Figurine of Judy, the wife of Mr Punch, with her cat. Pressed glass by John Derbyshire, Salford, 1873-1876

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

English Pressed Glass 1830-1900 by Raymond Slack, pub. Barrie & Jenkins, London.

Production Note

John Derbyshire used the JD mark with an anchor between 1873 and 1876 when he traded as John Derbyshire, Regent Road Flint Glass Works, Salford.




Moulding; Pressing


Entertainment & Leisure; Glass


Theatre and Performance Collection

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