Item Details

Art, Folk Art

Circa 1890-1900. Rollo was a popular comic figure during the later 19th century: then brought back to life in the early 20th century by George S. Chappell (satirical author) and Hogarth, Jr. (Rockwell Kent, illustrator). This puppet illustrates the innocent, well-walked, exaggerated-bow-tie, cap topped boy of that time period.

Approximately 38½” tall. Wood board body interior/support with shaft designed to move the head in all directions. All original clothing including shirt, pants, bow and leather cap. Head made of painted papier-mâché, over wood. Carved wooden hands. Straw stuffed legs and arms.

For a lad who has lived this long, he is in surprisingly good shape. Soiled clothing and worn shoes, a loss of some muscle (straw), and in need of some facial care, has not stopped him from performing. The internal rod still moves his head up and down, back and forth, but Rollo’s jaw is no longer moving–a quiet houseguest you do not have to feed.


See Ryan Howard’s webpage, Nineteenth-Century American Ventriloquists, for a fine bibliography on the subject: