It seems I have a passion for ventriloquist figures made by Frank Marshall and I am the first to say that is a fact. It is not by chance that this has happened and I wanted to let those who keep asking me why that happens to be the case. You see as a past dealer in antiques and as a collector when you start collecting you always strive to find the best items for your collection.
When I first started collecting figures I wanted one of every American maker that there was that carved wood figures. I seemed to have no problem except for finding the master figure maker of the golden era, Frank Marshall. It was a quest I seemed to have for the first 4 years of my collecting.
You have to understand that as a collector I was calling everyone and anyone that I thought may have a connection that would lead me to a figure. I have to say it did work because figures really started coming my way except for the Marshall (I must also say I was looking for a McElroy too but really didn’t think that would ever happen) the so called Holy Grail. Through all my antique connections the Marshall figure never came.
I found out that the antique dealers were not going to be my way of obtaining a Frank Marshall figure. That changed when I finally started to contact ventriloquists. Frank Marshall figures , for some unexplained reason, just do not make it into the antique market and are held on to by their ventriloquial owners. When I became know as THE collector of figures then it seemed to open up for me. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. My dreams and wishes have come true as you can see when you go to the Ventriloquist Central Collection.
The collection now numbers over 160 figures and there are now over 50 Frank Marshall figures in the collection. I am so happy you just can’t imagine and I love sharing them with you all.
Getting back to my original title of the blog Why??
Well Frank was the one that built the figures for all the famous Ventriloquists of the golden era and his faces to me epitomize what a Ventriloquist figure should look like.
It does seem to me that most of the makers emulated Franks work and even to this day his style of figure is still copied. I just think he was the best!!
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 2010 by Dan Willinger
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