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Catalog Number 10098-34
Title Puppet; Wood & Plaster; Woman; Queen; Marjorie Shanafelt
Object Name Puppet
Description Shanafelt Puppet. Character: the Queen (matches the King, 10098-33). Type: rod. How it works:There is a loop at the end of a wire to hang over a finger. A string to one hand is used as well. The "rods" are hooks attached to the heads. Construction: Main body under the clothing is made of wood. Head, forearms, hands, calves of legs, and feet are made of a variety of plaster, and painted. Painted features include black eyes, red lips, brown hair, flesh hands, blue/gold crown, white stockings, and white shoes with belt buckles.Clothing: Floor-length, pale pink satin gown, 3/4 length sleeves, white lace trim and gold braid trim on bodice of dress. Gold necklace with star. Ensemble styled similar to 16th century. 12" rod included.
Year Range from 1920
Year Range to 1960
Material wood, plaster
Made Shanafelt, Marjorie
Place of Origin USA: Nebraska (Lancaster), Lincoln
Used USA: Nebraska (Lancaster), Lincoln
Height (in) 11.5
People Shanafelt, Marjorie
History A heavy cardboard label measuring 6.25" x 6" is white with black print and reads, "These puppets are called Red Puppets. They are meant to be used in a home theater. They have a loop at the end of the wire to hang over a finger. A string to one hand would be used, to... These "Little rods" are miniatures of the 100 pound Sicilian RODS. The Sicilians are worked by tall, strong men who sling them on their wrists. Even so, their wrists must be protected by leather thongs. The rods are only hooks where they join the heads, and the heads are too on a hook. A quick pressure will not only release the rod, but let the head roll across the stage. Since the plays these puppets enact are the stories of Orlando, many heads must roll and often 10, 15, or 20 bodies minus heads pile up on stage...There has never been but ONE Sicilian puppet company in this country....Papa Manteo's and they are even growing scarce in Sicily, giving way to movies that offer more thrills" (end of card)

Puppeteer Marjorie Shanafelt was a curator of visual education at the University of Nebraska. She also authored puppet plays and was an original member of the Puppeteers of America. In 1963, Marjorie estimated that she had made over a thousand puppets. She had a puppet theater in her home at 2525 South 19th Street in Lincoln. Party and club groups numbering up to 30 people frequently enjoyed shows there. She would also travel with her puppets to private parties. In 1949, she toured Europe and showed her puppets at the National Scala in Coppenhagen
Marjorie died in 1973 at the age of 84.
Credit line Elva L. McFie, Lincoln (Lancaster), Nebraska
Collection McFie, Elva L.