Paper Theatres

In Hungary only a few paper theatres have been left for the future generations. Originally working as a kind of peep box, an exceptionally detailed example is the Kulissentheater kept in Sárospatak, featuring copperplate engravings from the studio of Martin Engelbrecht (1684-1756) from Augsburg, Germany. Another noted paper theatre maker, Matthias Trentsensky (1790-1868) started manufacturing his miniature theatres using lithographic techniques in 1815, featuring close to 40 kinds of tales. His meticulously elaborated and lifelike paper theatre backgrounds and coulisses have not only been known and liked by well-to-do audiences throughout the Austrian Empire, but in London as well.

The 19th century saw home puppetry become a popular form of entertainment also in Hungary. First, imported small marionette and paper theatres appeared in the homes of Hungarian nobility and bourgeoisie, providing entertainment not only to children. Then, in the early 20th century Hungarian graphic artists also started to make paper theatre figures in a national style, such as Katalin Benedek’s Snow White from the 1920s.

It is widely accepted today that playing different characters – from a very early age – greatly contributes to the development and practicing of empathy, so the paper theatres of Manufaktor not only build on a long tradition of entertainment, but may also be used well for educational purposes.

The assembly instructions of our paper theatres are available at the following link:



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