When I saw this little fellow I knew I had to buy him. He is so cute (in my opinion).
Unfortunately I can not give information as to his maker because there is nothing marked anywhere on him but I can tell you this he is not a toy and who ever created this fellow did some fine work. The head, hands and feet are of either wood dough ( plastic wood ) or composition. They are extremely heavy and remind me of how Finis Robinson used plastic wood but the quality is far superior to his work.
He stands 18″ tall and his arms are stuffed muslin, his legs are upper stuffed muslin and jointed at the knee and wooden lower leg. His body is wood with shaped shoulders. This fellow has moving mouth which works in reverse of normal by pushing up to open the mouth and down to close it. The eyes are almost all around movement except that they do not go to the right. They move up and down and to the left so you can get that upper left look or lower left look , straight up , straight down and of course in the middle. All controlled by the lever which comes out the bottom of the head stick. A very complex set up in such a small head. The eyes are wooden balls which have been painted. Very fine job.
His sailor suit is original and of the period which I would put in the 1950’s. It was put on during the making of the figure because the head will not go through the shirts head hole so therefore it had to be put on before the head was placed through into the body. The head stick is pinned in so that it can’t be removed. The pants are nailed in place and there are no other traces of holes other than the ones that are being used.
I have looked him over and I almost believe that this fellow may have started life as a marionette head which was then reworked to make this ventriloquist figure. In any event he is a great looking character done over 60 years ago and I love him.
If you recognize this character and can identify him please let me know.
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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