Ventriloquist Figure Maker Revello Petee

One of the rare American ventriloquist figure makers from the golden age of ventriloquism was Revello Petee. He made figures in the 1930’s and 40’s and his figures, he claims were used by some of the more famous ventriloquists of the time such as Max Terhune of movie fame and Tommy Wonder of Magic fame. He was a self taught carver but he did learn a lot from his father who was from France.

He put out a newsletter called “Double Talk” which was a typewritten four-page flyer and it talked about the current events and techniques of ventriloquism of that time (to see the very first “Double Talk” newsletter, check out ‘The Ventriloquism Historical Information Collection,Volume 1′).

Foy Brown said that the Revello Petee figures were the best ever made and even though Foy Brown himself was a figure maker he used the Petee figures in his own act as his main figures. Please click here to see the figures in the Ventriloquist Central Collection that Foy used.

Revello Petee figures were sold through the Kanter’s Magic shop from Philadelphia Pa. and I have added the add copy from that catalogue for you to see.

pettee pettee2

Unfortunately his figures today are very scarce and I only know of a couple examples and they are all privately owned and there are examples in the Vent Haven museum.

Revello did put his business card tacked inside the head like Marshall so you can identify them if you find one. Pricing on his figures is very hard since they are not too common but they don’t seem to go much over $1500.00 when you do find one.

I do hope you enjoy looking at the catalogue pages and reading some of his advertisement.

 

Dan
www.ventriloquistcentral.com

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Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are 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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This entry was posted in Dummy Collecting, Vent Haven, Ventriloquism/Ventriloquist, Ventriloquist Central, Ventriloquist Figure (Dummy) Makers, Ventriloquist Figure Building, Ventriloquist Figures, W.S. Berger & Vent Haven. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ventriloquist Figure Maker Revello Petee

  1. LeeDean says:

    I dare say that Frank Marshall was influenced by Revello Petee from the standpoint of quality. Marshall had to turn out high quality figures in order to compete with the Petee line and who was proud of his own work but Petee ended up saying he took his hat off to Marshall. Other than Petee, and of course McElroy who were pretty much in a class by themselves, I can not think of any other good figure makers challenging the wood sculpture work of Revello Petee and Frank Marshall. The English figures were either paper mache or leather lip or both, and although I am not sure about the Goldston figure of Arthur Prince, still I believe that but for these two fine wood sculpturers of ventriloquist figures, along with the Mack, there would be nothing much interesting to inspire Bergen and all the rest who followed.

  2. Renee says:

    Hi Dan,

    I am the owner of the “Mystery Mack” doll that Clinton is restoring. Do you believe this may be a Petee? My great-grandfather bought him from a magician friend in the 1930s. His name was Jackie.

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