Antique Female Puppet Head on Acrylic Stand, China (5275EOK)


H: 8.5″  W: 4″  D: 2.75″

Antique Chinese puppets were often made in several parts with the head being removable. This antique female carved wood head of a beauty has delicately painted features with a smoothely painted face and animal hair braided down the back. Since there is an area without hair towards the back, she likely originally wore a hat or headdress.  A hole on top probably accommodated strings. Mounted on a frosted acrylic base, it is in very good condition with expected surface losses and a ding on the left side of the face consistent with age and use.


Puppet theater has always vividly reflected Chinese society and culture and educated both the literate and illiterate public using with beautifully carved and attired puppets, music, drama,, eloquent language, costumes, and adornmen. It also assumed a major role by performing religious rituals and honoring major historical characters and events. Using rods, strings, gloves and a variety of different kinds of puppets, it reached its height in the Qing dynasty when it became closely associated with local opera forms.The UNMA states “Chinese puppetry encompasses all the arts – including music, song, dialogue, mime, dance, storytelling, martial arts, ritual, visual design, and craft. Puppetry not only educates and entertains, but also materializes philosophy and religious viewpoints, providing viewers with psychological and mental resources.” Story plots include history, religious, and supernatural events, gods and legends, romances, and even courtroom cases and are accompanied by flutes and drums. Although it diminished significantly after the Cultural Revolution, traditional puppet theatre as folk-art is still performed by thousands of private and state sponsored professional and amateur companies in rural and urban areas with Chinese and Taiwanese government support in recent decades to preserve puppets and theatrical performances. This piece was finished with a thin lacquer coating and it is part of The VA Masks- Puppets-&-Dolls-Collection.


UNMA (Union Internationale de la Marionette), World Encyclopedia of Puppetry Arts,


Additional information

Weight 5 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Antique (1200-1920)


19-20th Century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 8.5” W: 4” D: 2.75”

Dimensions (metric)

HT: 21.6 cm W: 10.2 cm D:7 cm


1lb 7oz


Very good, see description


6” to 11.9”


0” to 5.9”

Shipping Box Size

Reference Number