the Pipe and Tabor compendium

the Pipe and Tabor compendium

essays on the three-hole pipe

Europe history: Street entertainers

marionettes and jig dolls

examples of the little figures used by pipe and tabor players over the centuries to entertain the general public in town and country.

From the twelfth century there is documentation of some dancing puppets called bavasteles. They are of Italian origin, but quickly spread throughout France, Spain and the rest of European capitals.

The bavasteles were small full-bodied polychrome wooden articulated dolls that were suspended between ropes in a horizontal position. One end of the string was tied to a wooden stake or other fixed object, and the other to  the leg of the puppeteer, who, by moving it, tightened it and caused the puppets to dance or do somersaults to the beat of the music or the melodies. songs of the minstrel himself. The minstrel could play a bagpipe, a hurdy-gurdy, a barrel organ or a pipe and tabor.


France France, Provence 18th century France18th century Italy
1797 1804 1810
  18121812 Russians in Paris


18141814 Cossacks in Paris
1815 1820 1822
1810-18251810-1825 toile  
Victorian1823 satire - 'Gentleman Dancing Master' 1826
marionettesnot known

Francenot known France

1828 newspaper cutting of court casenewspaper cutting of court case - Star (London) - Saturday 15 November 1828

Wellington 1829 satire

1830 Germany1830 Germany
1830-46 France
1835 1840 Mary Evans Picture Library 1840 copy1840 France, copy
plateplate unknown 18481848 France France France unknown unknownunknown

early Victorianearly Victorian Germany

marionettesnot known VictorianVictorian
1820-60 France Victorian hollandmid Victorian, Holland New York
  unknownunknown with double pipes
late 19th century France FranceFrance Lantern SlideVictorian lantern slide [detail]
1834 England 1834Morning Post - Wednesday 13 August 1834
late 19th centurylate 19th century France
1888 newspaper article ‘Mr Sam Bayliss and his Marionettes’1888Preston Herald - Saturday 13 October 1888
French oil paintingFrench oil painting 1890's statuette 1880-1910 Netherlands1880-1910 Netherlands
  1893 newspaper article ‘Vanished Street Shows’:1893Dublin Daily Express - Tuesday 17 October 1893
  1993 Scotland Charlotte Waites2010 Charlotte Waites
North Carolina, USA
21stcentury New Zealand festival21st century New Zealand festival



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