Hand made marionette prop consisting of a paper envelope filled with prop metal coins. They were manufactured and operated in Melbourne by Alex and Murray Smith, who performed as part of Le Forgeron Marionettes from 1930 until 1956.
Marionette prop consisting ofa paper envelope containing eleven metal coins. The envelope is addressed to 'Preswood Smith Printing co., 29 Mitcham Rd, Mitcham, Vic' - sent by 'The Kauri Timber Co Ltd. Melbourne'. 'Stage money' is written in blue pen on front of envelope. Envelope is torn and has holes in it. Inside there are eleven identical metal coins. some of which are very worn.
On 11 May 1935, Melbourne's Argus newspaper published a piece about a local theatre company of '150 actors who sleep in a storeroom'. Almost 70 years later, and 50 years after their last performance, the same group awoke and made the journey to the museum. They are the puppets from Le Forgeron Marionettes, made and operated by a Melbourne family from the 1920s until 1956, including a residency at a purpose-built theatre in St Kilda's landmark Luna Park.
Scottish-born cabinet-maker Alex Smith took up puppetry as a hobby when he was a boy. Later, after performing in London, he moved his family to Melbourne in 1927, where his hobby became a full-time occupation. He and his wife and son made the marionettes, dressed them, constructed the sets, wrote the scripts and carried out the onstage and backstage functions needed to perform the plays. As well as performing in its permanent theatre, the company appeared at department stores, schools, town halls, church functions, private parties and various charity events.
Donation from Kaye Smith, Murray Smith, 21/11/2002
On obverse, head of George III. Around, " GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA". On reverse, shield in centre . Around , " IN MEMORY OF THE GOOD OLD DAYS / 1788 "
Type of item
20 mm (Outside Diameter)