Vintage Disney Marionettes
Vintage Disney marionettes are 20th cnetury marionettes that are modelled on Disney characters.
History & Description
A marionette is a type of puppet which is operated from above using either strings or wires. They are controlled by a puppeteer who can adjust the marionette’s movement by pulling or loosening the strings or wires. A marionette’s puppeteer is referred to as a manipulator.
Marionettes became increasingly prominent in popular culture from the late-1930s due to the rise of television and film, particularly in Disney programmes. Today, Disney has produced a wide range of Disney marionette’s based on some of their most famous characters, such as Snow White, Jiminy Cricket, Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan and, of course, Pinocchio.
Guide for collectors
Although vintage Disney marionettes are frequently advertised on eBay, the most important and valuable examples are typically sold through national and international auction houses. Collectors are advised to look out for marionettes made by toy companies such as Madame Alexander Doll Co. and Bob Baker Marionettes, as these command the highest prices at auction.
For more information on vintage Disney marionettes, collectors should visit the following websites; Pelham Puppets and Greatest Collectibles. The official Bob Baker Marionette website is also an exceptional resource for marionette collectors.
Notable auction sales
On June 7th 1997 at Christie’s in Los Angeles, a Pinocchio marionette, circa 1940s, realised a price of $4,600.
On April 18th 2008 at Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, New Jersey, a set of vintage Disney marionettes consisting of Snow White, Stepmother as Witch and five Dwarf figures, made by Madame Alexander Doll Co., realised a price of $2,750.
On July 8th 2005 at DuMouchelles in Detroit, Michigan, a set of vintage Disney marionettes consisting of Snow White, seven Dwarfs, Witch, Stepmother and Prince figures realised a price of $2,750.
On September 11th 2011 at Butterscotch Auction Gallery in Pound Ridge, New York, a set of vintage Disney marionettes consisting of Snow White, seven Dwarfs, Hunter, Witch and Stepmother figures, circa 1938 and made by Madame Alexander Doll Co., realised a price of $2,200.
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