String puppet of a Saracen from the Palermo tradition. The puppet has a tin breastplate, sword, and shield. It has wooden boots painted silver and a wooden head, the latter realistically carved, yellow cloth trousers, and a red tunic. It also wears a yellow and orange turban. A central rod, which is handled, passes through the head and attaches to the neck, so that the head can be manipulated. Another iron rod operated from above moves the right (sword) arm. A string attached to the sword allows the puppeteer to manipulate it, and a further string attached to the left hand allows the puppeteer to move the left arm, which is attached to the shield.
The puppet was previously thought to be a representation of Orlando, but from the dress and moustache it can be inferred that it represents a Saracen. This was confirmed by Dr Maria Fasino at the International Museum of Puppetry in Palermo Sicily. Fassino observed that the marionette is likely to come from Palermo. More information about the character represented could be gathered by the incisions on the shield. Detailed images of the shield will be sent to the museum for further clarifications. 6/07/2015.