Originality and Antique Ventriloquist Figures

OK, OK, I say uncle. I guess I have to explain myself again because of my listing the faults with the Marshall figure on which sold on eBay. (If you missed the blog, click here)

First off I said record price and my meaning was for a Frank Marshall figure that had so many problems. There have been two other Frank Marshall figures which have sold on eBay in the past five years that went over the $5K price. Both of those figures were all original and one of those is in the Ventriloquist Central collection. That figure is Mickey O’Finn. (You can see him by clicking this link)

Now back to the subject of originality. You must remember I think like a collector and a collector really wants everything to be original as it was first created. I have written about this a few tim e and have made analogies to get the point across and I will do that again.

You see if you purchase a Simon Willard Banjo Clock (Google it) and the dial has been repainted, the throat glass and lower box glass has been repainted and the case has been refinished, then what do you have?? A pristine looking Simon Willard Clock. Yes it is a Simon but is it worth $all the money that it could be worth? The answer is no. Once it had the restoration done it was devalued by two thirds the value if it were all original.

I do not perform so for me this is critical. If you are a performer and you liked the look then of course it was worth the price because you could just go out on stage and perform with him. Again I am just trying to explain how a true collector thinks. I really liked the figure but it did have problems.



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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This entry was posted in Dummy Collecting, Frank Marshall Figure (Dummy), Ventriloquism/Ventriloquist, Ventriloquist Central, Ventriloquist Figure Building, Ventriloquist Figures. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Originality and Antique Ventriloquist Figures

  1. Philip Grecian says:

    Don’t worry about it, Dan. I think most of us out here understood your post.
    I’m currently changing a “living mouth” Lovik African-American character into a slot-jaw white old lady character.
    Before I started the project I obsessed for a couple of years about changing the collectible value, but decided that, for me, it was more important to have a figure I would use. You don’t use your figures in a performance venue; you’re preserving history. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I, for one, am grateful for that.

  2. Eddie Garland says:

    You speak for me Philip!

    I too am very grateful for the work Dan has done in preserving the history of this fine art.

    Thank you Mr. Willinger.

  3. rex says:

    performance is one place I believe new or refurbished figures are best because the fact is even very careful use of a figure can damage it. when collectiong it is a completely different story the figure will not be used, costume changed, or handled (well maybe rearranged ever so often). I hear
    some people have molds made of a old figure so the figure had a copy of
    figure without the fear of damage. a cool idea I think if the type of person
    making the mold was careful. just my thoughts

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