Len Insull was the premier ventriloquist builder in the UK for 4 decades and his cheeky boy figure was used by all the top performers. Madeleine Maher and WS Berger bought these figures and imported them for sale here in the US but they are not found easily here in the US. Today I am happy to offer you one of Insull’s fully loaded figure for sale.
This figure stands 44″ tall and has all the functions as follows: Lower lip, upper lip, side moving self centering eyes, raising eyebrows, wiggling ears, individual winkers or both for blinking. His paint is very nice original with minor touch up All of his controls work perfectly and the leather lips are in outstanding supple original condition. He dates from the 1950’s and predates the sale by Davenport’s Magic.
He can be used right away by any ventriloquist and will be a hit. He is dressed in a period tuxedo which still shows very well for being as old as it is. I only sell figures of this quality and rarity when I have purchased something better and such is the case.
Click here to see this Len Insull Loaded Figure on the Ventriloquist Marketplace
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 2012 by Dan Willinger
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My first professional figure was an Insull and was a 44″ too, bought from W.S. Berger collection in Northern KY for $100.00 in 1955 and who always called it a Davenport, sold through the Davenport Magic Shop. I remember Berger referring to a professional size figure being 42″, and next ones down 38″, 36″, 32″, and 18″ most popular sizes. In the 1931 Marshall catalog sizes ranged 30″ for Wee Willy to 36″ and 42″ for Fresh Kid, Nosey, Girl and Tuffy no size mentioned so I suppose he made them professional size, Mickey smaller size 36″ so I suppose he made it professional size too, same for Sambo, no size mentioned for Saucy Kid and another Girl and assume he made them professsional style or smaller. Finally, there’s the Lester tribute figure which I assume was whatever size Byron actually was, the tall walking figure and the short pocket figure, no actual size mentioned. In the Ventriloquial Heads section Marshall refers to professional size twice, then the 36″, followed by Hands for lifesize figure, for professional size figure, and for 36″ and 30″ inch figures, and finally under Carrying Cases, one for professional size figure, for a 36″ figure and for a 30″ figure. The only time Frank Marshall in his catalog specifically mentions 42″ was the second figure, Fresh Kid, so I assume his later mention of professional size meant to refer to a 42″ figure. I do not know if this was an oversight or if it was understood and known by everybody that 42″ was a professional size figure. Another interesting thing is all the numbers are even, no odd numbers. Again, just an inch makes a big difference in matching clothes without having to do alterations.
I read your blog every morning and I enjoy it very much. At this time I’m having withdrawals for Bob Abdou articles. Hope you can talk him into writing more.Hope to see you folks at the Vent Haven ConVention