Orlando Furioso Rod Puppet

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Description (Brief)
This large over sized rod and string puppet, almost three feet tall, represents a medievel knight known as Orlando Furioso. Orlando the Knight is operated using a rod with strings. He is carved from wood and wears a blue satin suit covered with a full suit of brass armour, holding a shield and a steel sword.
He represents a long European story tradition based on the eighth-century tale of Roland, a Frankish knight who served as a commander on the Breton border of Charlemagne's great empire. In 778 A.D., As Charlemagne's army returned from fighting the Saracens in Spain, the rear guard was cut off by hostile Basques at a pass in the Pyrenees and Roland was killed. "The Song of Roland," based on this tale, emerged in the eleventh or twelfth century and Orlando Furioso became a stock character of marionette theaters across Europe from the 16th century on, especially popular in Sicily.
This puppet was found in Italy and donated to the Museum by Hazelle Rollins. Over a fifty year career, Rollins was a prominent historian who not only researched the art of puppetry, but created, manufactured and performed countless puppet shows across the country.
Currently not on view
Date made
date made
place made
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
paint (overall material)
overall: 34 1/2 in; 87.63 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Hazelle H. and J. Woodson Rollins
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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