Back a few years ago I was very fortunate to be able to acquire the Johnny Main collection of ventriloquist figures. One of the key figures was Archie II. Since Mr Main’s acquisition of Archie II he retired Archie I and only used Archie II as he liked this figure much more than the first. Johnny had made numerous repairs and had repainted him several times and by the time he came to me he was in pretty sad shape. I decided that this was a figure that had to go to the master for a complete restoration so off to Ray Guyll he went.
I had Archie II in my hands for only 2 days and then I shipped him off to Bothell, Washington for Ray’s expert work. Ray received him and told me that he had actually done a restoration of this figure many years back when Johnny had visited him in Washington. He had replaced the leather eyelids and also the leather upper lip for Johnny. When I got him both of these were cracked and the paint was peeling. The Marshall style paint was long gone having had many coats of fresh paint from Johnny.
It is two and a half years later and low and behold Archie has returned to the rest of his family with me here in Boston and I must tell you, as I have said in the past, good things come to those who wait. I also say that opening a box from Ray Guyll at any time is like Christmas morning and this was no exception. I am able to say that Archie looks as though he was just delivered from the hands of Frank Marshall to me. He is nothing short of spectacular. The leather eyelids close all the way and are perfectly smooth. His upper lip is so fine and smooth that you would think it was carved wood and not leather. The superb color match and texture of the paint is Frank Marshall’s without question. I again must take my hat off and bow to Ray Guyll. He is today’s Gepetto and I defy anyone to show me a Marshall restoration that is better.
Please follow the link to look at this great Marshall figure on the Marshall page of my figure collection!! Enjoy seeing this figure because I know Johnny Main certainly would have loved to see him like this again.
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