Hand made marionette depicting a young woman wearing a long green dress. It was manufactured and operated in Melbourne by Alex and Murray Smith, who performed as part of Le Forgeron Marionettes from 1930 until 1956.

Physical Description

Marionette depicting a young woman, who is wearing a long green dress. The dress has sheer, embroidered fabric around the collar and the cuffs of her long sleeves in a cream colour. Her petticoat is made of a lighter shade of green. Her feet are painted black and her legs are red. She wears a matching green bonnet which ties under her chin and has a white trim. There are some small holes in her dress and it is slightly discoloured in parts. Her bonnet has some quite large holes. The girl has blonde, wavy hair which is intact but not attached in parts. Her head is different to the other marionettes- it appears to be from a doll and is very small compared to her body. She has plastic brown eyes. The girl has a mechanism. There are operating strings attached to numerous parts of her, including her head, limbs and shoulders. The feet have been weighted


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.

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