Like his companion giraffe puppet (featured on a separate page), this standing pig marionette was made in the 1920s by Harold Tarpley, Sr., a college professor who designed and made puppets that he and his wife used in puppet plays at churches and schools. The professor lost his teaching position at the start of the Depression, and the couple turned to puppetry for their livelihood.
The delightful old fellow featured here is 18″ t X 8″ w X 5-1/2″d, with 4″ l feet. His head, hands and feet are carved wood and, like all the puppets in the couple’s collection, were hand painted by Mrs. Tarpley. The pig’s body is constructed of wood, cloth and wire. His theatrical costume mimics that of French sailors from Brittany: white cotton trousers and a blousy shirt with horizontal stripes and a rolled dark blue collar.
For all of his years as a marionette, “Monsieur Cochon” now appears on a custom metal stand that lets you wrap his rolled collar around a wire support, which holds his head erect. This jaunty pig seems to posses the same insouciance as the legendary Miss Piggy (who appeared on the scene in 1974.) He is in excellent condition — a great one-of-a-kind find!