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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1937 (made)
    1994 (altered)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Quisto, Arthur, born 1882 - died 1960 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved and painted wood with sewn fabric and pressed glass.

  • Credit Line:

    Donated by Michael De La Ford in memory of his father Arthur William Ford (1901-1974) who as 'Professor' Gordon Bavister scripted and operated his Punch and Judy show from 1937 onwards.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This glove puppet is the Policeman, one of a set of figures used in his Punch and Judy show by Arthur William Ford (1901-1974), known professionally as 'Professor' Gordon Bavister. The figures were bought in 1937 and are mostly made by the master puppet maker Arthur Quisto (1882-1960).

Mr Punch was first recorded in England in 1662 by the famous diarist 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. Pepys brought his wife to see the show two weeks later and that October the same show was performed at Whitehall for the King.

In the Punch and Judy show written by Professor Bavister the Policeman comes to see what all the noise is about after Mr Punch has been fighting with the Doctor and has knocked him out. The Policeman says he has the authority to arrest Punch, to which Punch replies that he has the authority to knock him down, which he duly does before sweeping him off the stage.

Physical description

Glove puppet of a Policemanwith a painted, carved wooden face with blue glass eyes, wearing a policeman's helmet and a uniform made from blue woollen fabric.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1937 (made)
1994 (altered)


Quisto, Arthur, born 1882 - died 1960 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Carved and painted wood with sewn fabric and pressed glass.


Height: 54.0 cm, Width: 25.0 cm

Object history note

This is one of a set of Punch & Judy figures donated by the son of the Punchman 'Professor' Gordon Bavister (1901-1974), along with the script of the show and the booth. All the figures were bought by his father in 1937 and were made by Arthur Quisto, except the Boxers and the Ghost, which were added later. The puppet booth is complete with its blue velvet curtains, a painted backdrop, the facade of Punch's house, other properties and two swazzles.

Descriptive line

Glove puppet of the Policeman used from 1937 onwards by Arthur William Ford (1901-1974) known as Professor Gordon Bavister who scripted and operated a Punch and Judy show. Made by Arthur Quisto (1882-1960).




Entertainment & Leisure; Children & Childhood


Theatre and Performance Collection

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