Well known to British children, and nostalgia of holidays by the sea, Punch and Judy is a traditional, popular puppet show featuring Mr. Punch and his wife, Judy. The performance consists of a sequence of short scenes, each depicting an interaction between two characters, most typically Mr Punch and one other character. The Punch and Judy show has roots in the 16th-century Italian commedia dell'arte. The figure of Punch derives from the character of Pulcinella, which was anglicized to Punchinello. He is a manifestation of the Lord of Misrule and Trickster figures of deep-rooted mythologies.
In the early 18th century, the marionette theatre starring Punch was at its height, Punch's Theatre at Covent Garden was operated by Irish master puppeteer Martin Powell, (fl. 1709–1720; d. 1729). Originally intended for adults with supernatural themes and violence, the show evolved into primarily a children's entertainment in the late Victorian era.
These prints on plaster plaques are handcoloured reproductions of English caricaturist and illustrator George Cruikshank's Punch and Judy illustrations.
The Comic Tragedies of Punch & Judy