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When is a clown a Bajazzo?

Postby myford » Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:39 am

Hi everyone,
I recently purchased a clown with a few old tokens jambed in various corners, & with a bit of freeing up of the mech & a bit of adjustment it now works just fine. The tokens (5 or 6 of them) are marked differently including "clown", "Bajazzo", & ", Gateshead", the latter with a crescent hole in the middle. now my question is this, the Bajazzo token has a 3 digit number stamped on it which matches the number on a brass tag below the lock, does that mean that this machine is a Bajazzo?
I'm pretty green to this hobby, but am aware of the usual German & British "clown" manufactures, so where did the term Bajazzo come from?

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Postby pennymachines » Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:08 pm

Hi Terry and congratulations on your purchase.
It seems very probable that the matching three digit number means those tokens originally came with the machine and it is therefore a German Bajazzo.

Bajazzo is the German name for a stock character who is believed to have first appeared in the Italian Commedia dell'arte around the 1600s. In Italy he is called Burrattino, Bertoldo, Pagliaccio, Pedrolino, Peppe Nappa, Piero and Gian-Farina and in France he is Pierrot. He is a good natured but naive comic servant who is badly treated and must sleep with the animals in the straw. Pagliaio means straw, hence his Italian name. His German name probably comes from the French pailasse (straw bag) or the Italian baja (fun). In some German dialects Bajazzo is pronounced Bajass.

He often wears white face paint and a white costume with large buttons and a high pointed, funnel-shaped hat. The striking checkered tights are more characteristic of Harlequin (Arlecchino in Italian), also known as Truffaldino, Traccagnino, Bagattino, Tabarrino, Tortellino, Naccherino, Gradelino, Polpettino, Nespolino, Bertoldino, Fagiuolino, Trappolino, Zaccagnino, Trivellino, Passerino, Bagolino, Temellino, Fagottino, Fritellino and Tabacchino!

Bajazzo has become synonymous with a traditional theatrical-style jester or clown in Germany, in the way that Harlequin has in English.

See also The Finnish Game of Payazzo

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Location: Kent, UK

Postby myford » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:40 am

Many thanks for that, most informative.
Guess I should really have put it in the Q & A category but thanks anyway.

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