The Matador and Gypsy are being sold as a pair next week.
This pair of puppets have been together for a long time and have come to the shop from the original owner who loved them as a child.
It took some time to research the origin and I was able to find reference to a Matador puppet in one of the Collector's Magazines. The Spanish Gypsy with him I have no reference point for.
Type SL Matador has a head mould not seen before, it is not the same mould as the Gil Leeper Prince Charming or any other male characters I have seen. He has a beautiful costume, highly decorated with sequins. He wears a little tie sewn at the base to his shirt. The red cape over his shoulder, this is attached to the jacket in two places, it has a damp stain as shown.
The clothes are in good used condition, the trousers have some damp marks to the back. He has an amazing face with dark brown painted eyes, never have I seen this paintwork.
He has a small chip from above his lip as shown. There is a small paint rub on the end of his nose and chin.
He has a head of hair which is made from a moulding compound material. The hat is fantastic with two side pom poms of fur and braid around the top, it is made of felt. It is loose to the front of his head and therefore can lift up slightly above his hairline.
He has stick like legs painted black, a good choice for this character.
As can be see, one of the hands has broken. This could be quite easily fixed, the hands aren't terribly difficult to find on a common puppet from the 50's.
The box is his original box and has the name handwritten one end.
The Spanish Gypsy has a lovely costume with original lace and features. She has a lovely face and dark painted eyes to match her partner. She even has dark eyelashes painted. Her cheeks are rosy.
She has a long ponytail to one side, tied with a mauve ribbon, I don't imagine this is original, but it may be?
She has a good moulded Leeper type head.
The costume is a little tatty but has some amazing details.The silk type skirt is good, it looks as if the skirt had stitches at intervals to hold it down to the underskirt, some of these are undone.
The trim on the underskirt is the same as the trim on the shorts underneath and matches the bodice and sleeve trim.
She wears an intricate red felt flower in her hair which is in good condition.
The box is her original box and has the name handwritten one end.
Both boxes are shelf worn and aged.
I have added two images taken from the Collectors Magazine where a collector had written about this character. There are obvious differences and the author has made some mistakes concerning the head mould etc but it makes interesting reading to know another existed.