Friday, March 22, 2013

New Look for a Vintage Paluzie Paper Theater

As Promised I've created a few new looks on anther vintage Paluzie Toy Theater.

Preview - New Looks for a vintage Paluzie Toy Theater
When I originally posted about this vintage Paluzie Toy Theater from Spain, I made mention that I personally did not like the top portion of the theater and that my preference was to remove it and use just the lower box portion of the theater.  Well, that caused me to try an find an alternate way of revising the look of the theater so I would keep it in tact. I like the final revised look and hope you do too. - grins

The original post showing the Paluzie Nº 1028 Theater can be seen -HERE
I hope you get the chance to check out that post which contains several Paluzie Theaters.

Original modifications made to the theater

Originally I did some clean up to the vintage sheet and digitally assembled it to create the full theater.  I did not like the "topper" so I tried to add in more shadows and brightened up the figures and though this improved the image slightly, I still was not thrilled with the final look.

Well, on that post I did not want to stray too far from the charm of the original Spanish theater and left it at that.  But it continued to bug me and I decided to take a new stab at it - this time I made several modifications to the original and tried a variety of backgrounds till I decided on my final look.

I decided the background behind the figures and the "flatness" of them was my main issue. So step one was to concentrate on statues, remove the upper background and find one that worked better.

New Altered Attempt - better but not there yet
Though I liked this look better, it still was not what I wanted; so at this stage of the game I decided to remove all the background from the entire theater and go for something more radical.

New Version - Recolored and New Background
I recolored a majority of the theater which helped to give more dimension to the statues and other items. Then with the background removed I had the opportunity to add in more drop shadows and put in a unique background of my own, using a variety of layers and textures till I achieved this new look.

Once I got to my final background choice I wanted it in a few color options and choose to add in a drop curtain for each; so here are the three I came up with.

Note - The theater is based on a vintage Paluzie, but the additional drop curtain has been altered from a 1918 image published by Illustreret Familie Journal which was posted on Flickr - HERE

New Version - Teal Theater - Green Curtain

New Version - Green Theater - Lilac Curtain

New Version - Gold Theater - Blue Curtain

I really like the way the new updated theater came out and think I might stand a better chance of keeping this theater in tack than I did before... but I still think I like it best without.

It's probably all those lovely flowers, I seem to want them to be the focal point 
without fighting for attention with the upper figures. 

Oh well, different strokes for different folks.  I'm sure many of you would prefer the original untouched version to the altered one but at least there are options to choose from and variety is the spice of life so you now have your pick.

Till Next Time...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fairy Tale Paper Theater in Various Colors

My Fanciful Muse was not quite ready to move on from the Paluzie theaters I've been posing about, so I've been having a bit of fun creating colorized versions of these vintage treasures.

Today I have a fun color selections on what I've dubbed the "Fairy Tale Theater"
because it has that bejeweled, story book, kingdom look I associate with fairy tales.
These little gems are based on a vintage image from Spain;
 which can be seen on the original post - HERE

The original image was intended to be an inner curtain to work with other Paluzie toy theaters; however I really liked the way this image took on it's own identity as an independent theater, by adding a base.  And as much as I liked the original "red" version, I decided to created a variety of colors for added fun.  So here is what My Muse came up with.

Quick View of all the Colors

Now this fun little theater has 9 looks from the updated but original Red 
to a most elegant Black and gold version.

Fairy Tale Theater - Red

Fairy Tale Theater - Black

Fairy Tale Theater - Emerald

Fairy Tale Theater - Plum

Fairy Tale Theater - Navy

Fairy Tale Theater - Purple

Fairy Tale Theater - Teal

Fairy Tale Theater - Green

Fairy Tale Theater - Raspberry

This series of Fairy Tale theaters was created from a vintage toy theater paper sheet created c1900 by Paluzie, Barcelona. More can be seen about it and some scenery to work with theaters shown here can also be found on that same post. 
Another altered Paluzie toy theater can be found at post. 
 Spanish Paper Theater Images Part 2 - Paluzie, Barcelona
I modified the Spanish Paluzie theater from "part 2" so it too has 
a few variations and it can be seen - HERE

There's still more to come as I continue my Toy Theater Quest so,
Till Next Time...


Monday, March 18, 2013

Spanish Paper Theater Images Part 2 - Paluzie, Barcelona

Hello once again from My Fanciful Muse to Yours.

Today in Part 2 of Spanish Paper Theaters, I have another Paluzie Theater to share 
and then at the end of the post there are a few more mini Paluzie theaters for some added fun.
If you want to catch up the previous post (Paluzie Part 1) can be seen - HERE

This is part of the Paluzie Theater Nº 1028 I've altered and with a fun vintage paper curtain I've also altered.
This Paluzie Theater (Nº 1028) originally has a "topper" on it but I personally like the theater without it and wanted to show it displayed in this fashion to show that it can easily be removed to give the theater a other look.  If you've been following my Toy Theater Posts, the curtain shown here probably looks familiar... and that would be correct.  I used a red and green version of it on the Cherub Theater Part 1 post  - HERE and I'll be including it again today with this theater.

I'm still trying to discover who made or published this particular curtain and if I do I'll update the post to show that information.  If any viewer knows who made this curtain or to what toy theater it belongs... I'd love to know, so drop me comment or email. Thanks in advance.

This Paluzie, Barcelona theater started off as an uncut paper sheet from Spain.  Though nice in it's original state I did some digital clean up and assembly and created two slightly different color versions of it for this post.
Preview Sheet for the Paluzie Nº 1028 Theater
The above sheet shows the progress from the original sheet (the first image at the very top) and the various new looks the theater can when using the project print sheets that will be included below.

The original theater sheet had some "extras" at the lower portion of the stage I did not like and so for my rendition of the theater those have been eliminated.  The next change thought subtle was some clean up and highlighting of the figures at the top of the theater.
Changes made to the upper decorative portion of the proscenium
The digital alterations I made to the proscenium and especially the topper can best be shown with the above image.  The changes are subtle but I think they make a world of difference in allowing the image to "pop" and give it a bit more dimension than it originally had.
The colors have been enhanced, more shadows were put in behind the figures and I backed the finished image with black for added definition.

Below are two printable theater play sheets; featuring my rendition of the Paluzie, Barcelona Nº 1028 Theater.  Each is a slightly different color versions of the theater with a few curtain options I came up with.  I call the one closest to the original "Sunset" and the pinker one "Melon".

Set #1 - Sunset Color Version
I call this set "Sunset" due to the stronger theme of reds and golds

The super fancy curtain is unidentified but the other curtain sets on the pages have been altered 
from a set originally produced in 1924 by the Danish Publication Illustreret Familie-Jounal. 
It can be seen HERE and other colorized versions of it can be seen - HERE.

They go so well with a variety of model theaters that I tend to alter and recycle them as needed.

Set 2 - Melon Color Version
I call this set "Melon" due to shades that remind me of watermelon and cantaloupe
You can get a totally different look on the theater by removing the upper portion, 
with the figures; as I did with the first image shown on today's post.

Also, the "green" and  "yellow" curtains from each set could easily be used with the 
opposite theater coloration scheme if you wanted to mix things up even more.

Add in some backgrounds and interesting character figures and you can build any number of compositions that are unique.  These can be used to build cards, dioramas or actual working mini theaters, depending on the amount of time you want to invest in your build.

To get you started I've created a sheet with a few vintage Paluzie backgrounds 
and matching side wings pieces that can be used with these theater sheets.
Two background and side wing sets
 The side wing panels are used to create illusion and depth within a toy theater, 
just as they would be used on a real stage. 

Below I've included a photo I found on the web showing the Paluzie theater and in it you can see some side wings plated in between the front of the theater and the back background.
Paluzie Toy Theater - From The Bruce Museum's exhibit "A Child's View"
and is part of an interesting article Victoriana Magazine did on Toy Theaters at the Bruce Museum.
There is also a "jeweled" inner curtain in the image shown above.  In the previous post 
I created a Toy Theater image out of  Paluzie, Barcelona sheet Nº520; 
which is where the inner curtain came from. 

For this post I have included the curtain as intended.
Red Curtain for the "Sunset" Theater - Raspberry Curtain for the "Melon" Theater
Since I have two different color versions of the theater I wanted to provide and 
inner curtain that would work with each one, so here they are.


A bit about Paluzie, Barcelona

Casa Paluzie  (1865-1940) was a Spanish based publishing house. They specialized in cut-sheet, paper theater and paper toys as well as: popular prints, educational books, maps, instructional toys, and a variety of other printed paper products.  The company was started in 1844 by Esteve Paluzie (1804-1873); A teacher and publishing editor and by the mid 1860's he was fully devoted to his publishing enterprise.
The establishment of Don Esteban Paluzie published it's first know catalog in 1867 and continued till 1940.
This was around the time of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), which was taking place as most of Europe was dealing with the beginnings of  WWII.  My Mother was a young girl growing up in Spain during this difficult time. She and several of my aunts and uncles have told me stories of the hardships that took it's toll all over the country due to Spain's internal conflict between The National Republic and rebel Nationalists led by Franco (Franco won by the way, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Spain's more current history.)  
I have to assume that the toll of the war probably had a large financial impact on the business and may have been a major cause to the end of Casa Paluzie in 1940.


Paluzie paper sheets are some of the rarer ones to come across, especially in the USA; 
however they do appear from time to time on Internet auction sites.

These are what a few of the other Paluzie, Barcelona Toy Paper Theaters look like.
(note - I made some updates to several items below on 11-14-2013)

I digitally "cleaned up" the above 1059 Paluzie from a theater sheet I found on the Internet
at "" - HERE

The original version of the above Teatro De Sombras
is from the Collection of - Francesc d' A. López Sala.  
Francesc has several blogs showing wonderful images of vintage paper toys.  
The blogs are in Spanish but the images need no translation; 
so I hope you check them out - HERE and HERE

He was also generous enough to share with us the second sheet that works with the above theater.
By cutting out the below circles and installing as shown via the diagram you will get 
a "moving shadow puppet show".
 Thanks Francesc!!!


The next group of theaters came as sheets that needed to be assembled to complete the Toy Theaters.
Most of these sheets I was fortunate enough to purchase from European online sellers. 
They take a bit longer to arrive in the mail and you pay a lot for shipping to get them stateside; but I think it's worth the extra time and expense in the end when you get to see one of these beauties up close and personal.

"Embocadura de Teatro - Teatro Moderno Nº 1090 bis"
is shown above in both it's assembled version as well as the uncut sheet. 
The main portion of the theater is in one piece and then the orchestra sections need to be 
assembled in front to build the complete sheet as intended.
This orchestra strip can be attached directly to the theater's front or it could be used to cover a front 
drawer that would hold additional paper sheets, characters and props used with a toy theater.
The builder could also opt not to use the orchestra at all and different base could be created 
for the theater or drawer cover if this section was not wanted or perchance is missing.

I've noticed that some Paluzie sheets have similar numbers for different images.
For example, farther down you will see another Paluzie sheet numbered 1090 but that theater is a smaller version of a Theater Español with accessories and not a Teatro Moderno like the above theater.  
It's interesting that the above theater is Nº 1090 bis... I've noticed the "bis" ending on a few of my Paluzie sheets but they seem to be for scenery or accessories that accompany a theater facade sheet.  This is the first Theater facade sheet I've had that carried a "bis" after the number.

I'm not sure why two different theaters would carry the same sheet number but I'm guessing that they were made in different years and as one theater 1090 was no longer being made a different one was?
I'm still searching an answer as to why "Embocadura de Teatro - Teatro Moderno Nº 1090 bis" has a bis ending next to the model number and will update the page if I ever find out - grins.
(Update 5/22/2023 - "bis" numbering update - One of my readers asked for an updated on the "bis" numbering of these sheets, so I wanted to add what I can best figure out, here on this original post.
It does indeed seem that the "bis" notates this sheet is not the original 1090 but "another" 1090.
These are Spanish printings but in Italian referencing Latin "bis" denotes Encore! or Again! and is used in musical scores to indicate a part to be repeated. Bis is used in France and Italy instead of encore.
Based on other Paluzie sheets using "bis" next to the number it seems to indicate "this is in addition to" the original # produced...  It could be that the "bis" sheet is in addition to, an updated version, an altered version or possibly in the case of Teatro Moderno 1090 a replacement version.  "Bis" signifies an encore but not to be confused with another by the same number.)


Teatro Español Nº 1060 (Decoraciones de Teatro - Fachada)
Is shown above in both the uncut sheet and a vintage assembled version.
The main theater is in one piece and then the orchestra sections need to be added in front.
This strip can be attached directly to the theater's front or it could be used to cover a front 
drawer that would hold additional paper sheets, characters and props used with a toy theater.

Occasionally you can discover variation in a theaters coloration. In the above example the vintage assembled theater has slightly different coloring than the vintage uncut sheet I own but this is one of the aspects that makes vintage paper toys so much fun.

And remember earlier, on the Theater 1090 bis I left a note that there were two different theaters numbered 1090, well here are two different Teatro Español theaters with the number 1060.
The above Teatro Español Nº 1060 is a Decoraciones de Teatro - Fachada Nº 1060 where as the below Teator Español Nº 1060  is listed as Fachada de Teatro Nº 1060;  and to make matters more confusing the below Fachada de Teator Nº 1060 theater came in a smaller size with accessories and was numbered Nº 1090 - go figure???

Paluzie 1060 was also made in a different size with a curtain on the same sheet and numbered 1090 - see next example

The colors on the above vintage Teatro Español 1060 sheet are slightly different from those seen in the below version of the smaller vintage assembled Teatro Español 1090. Here again I'm not sure if this is the case with all 1060 & 1090 Teatro Español's of this style or just these shown here.
Either way I find it fascinating in it's confusion.

This Teatro Español shows the theater and two uncut sheets.
The first uncut sheet Nº 1090 shows the theater and curtain and the 
second sheet Nº 1061 shows a larger curtain and stage props alone and was 
intended to be used with the larger Teatro Español Nº 1060 pictured above this example.

Just goes to show when collecting you need to pay attention to the numbering system and verify sizing when purchasing or you could be purchasing the wrong item for your needs.
The Curtain in the 1090 combination curtain/accessory sheet, is too small to work with the Fachada de Teatro Nº 1060.  You need to have the larger Nº 1061 curtain and accessory sheet for the larger theater sheets: Fachada de Teatro Nº 1060 as well as the Teatro Moderno Nº 1090 bis".


I hope you have enjoyed exploring vintage Toy Theaters from Paluzie, Barcelona with me.  
These are really near and dear to my heart; but they are not the only 
Paper Theaters that came from Spain. 

Seix Barral was known for it's Toy Theater series “Teatro de los Niños” and 
Hernando, Madrid has at least one Paper Theater and multiple scenery sheets that I'm aware of.
I might explore those with you at another time but for now My Muse seems to be 
heading off in another direction so we will have to put that on the back burner for a bit.

So many projects and not enough hours in the day to get it all done, such is the wonder of life.

Till Next Time...