“Jewell’s Little Puppets in “Circus Day in Toyland” Wins More Applause than Any Other Act on the Bill at the Globe.”


The family of Mae and Jesse Jewell arrived in New York Harbor from England with their act, “Jewell’s Manikins”, to play a theatrical engagement.” in 1904.  The Jewells both puppeteers, created their own company, which performed in American vaudeville houses, dime museums, and circus sideshows. 


According to the Indianapolis Star in 1913, Lillian was a fourth-generation  marionette operator from England. 

Lillian Jewell was quoted as being the owner and chief manipulator of “Jewell’s Manikins”, who was in the business since she was a child.


Their daughter Lillian was born on the road; she married a vaudeville performer named Rex Faulkner.  Their act, Lillian Faulkner and Company, played vaudeville houses unit the Depression, using the new technology of the phonograph to provided soundtrack for their shows.


"Her great-grandfather won fame and fortune by his enterprise in popularizing this form of entertainment, while her father, the late Jesse Jewell, a showman himself invented this type of figure,  perfected the improved Manikins of today by using Paper Mache and wax instead of wood, the material of which the old marionettes were made."


After her father died, she carried out this business with her husband. Originally from England, they toured the world with their act.


A 1926 review by the Lima (OH) News of a performance of their act, now titled "Faulkner's Manikins", "Play Ball" noted:

"With strings attached to little wooden figures, Miss Faulkner keeps her audience in an uproar with the manikins.  They do everything from the Charleston to playing baseball.  A very clever act."


Pages from History

A collection of historic Images - Jewell's Circus Manikins


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Elephant and Handler Lion Tamer Drawing Lions Cage Lions and Tamer

Jewell's Manikins Poster Jewell's Circus Horseback Rider Scottish  Marionettes Dancer




Butterfly Dancer

Marionette in

Black Face




Lillian Jewell's Passport Madame Jewell's Lillian and Family Family







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Palisades Park Puppeteers

Keep Secret of Manikins Woman With Dancing Fingers


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