J.C. Turner Ventriloquist Figure For Sale

In the past I have written about the difference between ventriloquist collectors and antiques collectors and the proof was bared out today by an email I received from Greg Claassen. I have attached it below but before you read the email let me again talk about this subject.

Antiques can be put into categories and in the United States one of the most collectible categories is Folk Art. Folk Art seems to have a particular affinity to the upper echelon of collectors in this country and I think the appeal is because these items for the most part are hand crafted pieces and no two pieces are ever alike.

Except when it comes to ventriloquist figures it seems. You see when an antique dealer finds a figure such as a J.C. Turner the antique person will most assuredly think that this is a one of a kind hand carved figure and will usually date it from the turn of the 19th to 20th century.

We in the ventriloquist world of course know different. J.C. Turner produced figures in the 1940s and 1950s and were rather crude and were also done with duplicarving. The faces on his figures are almost always alike with very minor changes. These figures were actually a beginners pro style figure when they were being sold. They were sold through Abbott’s Magic Co. and many of the famous older ventriloquists started with Turner Figures. They also were painted crudely so if they were well used and kind of beat around and survived, when found by antique dealers, all of a sudden they are now Folk Art.

Now read Greg’s email to me and look at the pictures. If you want to follow up on this figure you certainly can. It is for sale!!!

Hi Dan,

I was traveling from Fond du lac, WI to Omaha, NE today. I stopped in
central Iowa at an antique shop and came across this Turner figure.
They had him priced at $2000. I think that’s a bit over priced, don’t
you? At least, I thought you might enjoy the pics.


turner-figure01 turner-figure02



P.S. Speaking of Turner figures, I have one on the Ventriloquist Marketplace…PLUS there are other NEW listings , so be sure to check them out…… Click here for Ventriloquist Marketplace


Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. His collection of ventriloquist figures now numbers over 100 figures of which there are over 50 Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com

Copyright 2009 by Dan Willinger

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