I have gone in search of mushrooms: the humpbacked dove, the dark scaled knight or the yellowfoot, a witches
butter or perhaps the fringed bulge in the company of a common Stinkhorn…? I couldnt find all of them. In fact,
these mushrooms are said to be edible, despite names which suggest otherwise.
But I hadn’t gone in search of mushrooms to eat!
In summer I discovered them for the first time: two toadstools hiding in a large, heavy wooden box together with
other smaller stage sets and props.
The Schichtl family left not only marionettes to the Museum of Theatre Puppets Lübeck, but also a treasure
trove of objects. The collection ranges from a small toadstool to an impressively large stage set 3.4 metres high
and 4.65 metres wide – everything that belongs to puppet theatre.
And now in autumn I wanted to find the mushrooms again! Since we are becoming better and better organised in
the archive and are gradually recording the locations of our objects, finding them was quite easy.
Here are the toadstools, the special feature of which is that the 45 cm high and 123 cm wide object combines a
theatre puppet and stage set! Pulled by a thread the mushrooms can “grow” out of the ground. On the back of this
stage design made of wood and cardboard, “Rumpelstiltskin” was written in pencil.
Aha! So the little lucky charms made their appearance in the production of the fairy tale “Rumpelstiltskin” from
the collection of the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, in which the poor miller’s daughter had to spin straw
Did our toadstools help the miller’s daughter to find out the name of the man who had given her the ability to
spin straw into gold and then demanded her first child as the price? Only if she found out his name would she be
allowed to keep her child.
Perhaps one day we will discover in the play texts of the Schichtl family stored in our archives, how the staging
of Rumpelstiltskin was. So we need to start searching again and maybe we will be lucky to solve the riddle.
Fortunately, we have two mushrooms, toadstools are a well known symbol of luck together with the four-leaf
clover, the lucky pig or the horseshoe.