I have the pleasure of showing to you this wonderful Mortimer style figure which was created by Pinxy in the late 1930’s. This figure was purchased from Pinxy by Nick Tomei and was in his collection right up until he passed away. It was then sold through auction and passed through a couple hands before becoming a part of the Ventriloquist Central Collection.
He is a full 40″ tall and is in wonderful original condition. The functions are slot jaw, side to side eyes and one eye is a rolling winker. Very unusual to have moving eyes in a Mortimer style figure. They are still intentionally cockeyed like the original Mortimer but they move. The original paint is just great.
He is dressed in a very snappy suit of the period and even his shoes are the strange color that the original Mortimer wore. Just a great example of Pinxy’s work and the influence that Edgar Bergen’s figures had on other makers of the time.
Click here to see the Pinxy style Mortimer
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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Looks like a Spencer or Marshall figure to me, maybe with Pinxy’s name put on it.
I am convinced this is a Spencer, comparing this one’s hands http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com/pinxy/pinxy_04/pinxy-mortimer-004.htm to the all original Spencer in your collection http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com/spencer/spencer-07/spencer07-04.htm further considering Spencer’s use of roll-over eye, and lastly the Marshall girl figure in your collection that Pinxy put his name on http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com/marshall/marshall_37/marshall_37.htm. Suffice it so say I question all this, because of the hands, and feel that Marshall may have had hand in it too because of quality of facial features and no round stylized Spencer ears.
You can rest at ease. The Mortimer Pinxy is just that a full carved and mechanised head by Pinxy. I did forget to picture the bottom of the neck but it is wood burned in with the large pinxy letters. Pinxy was known for using other makers parts and I do believe that you are correct about the hands being made by Spencer but they were painted and match the original paint on the face that was done by Pinxy. Even the wig is original. Marshall and Spencer were not the only makers to use the rolling eye winker. This was purchased by Nick Tomei from Pinxy.
If Marshall ever used another figure maker’s parts, outside the Mack shop, and put his name on the finished piece, I would think less of him. If Pinxy took a Frank Marshall figure like the girl in your Marshall collection and branded his name on it, no I can not rest at ease. I think Marshall was too proud of his work to use other than his own carved hands, and so was Spencer. As Pinxy was known for using other makers parts only puts a big question mark on the whole thing for me. I may be wrong but do not believe Marshall or Spencer did that, but the 1930’s was the time of the Great Depression, and so maybe anything goes in a time like that. It was pride in authorship, I think, that made Marshall sign his work, just like most of us do. I wonder if Theodore Mack ever made Marshall take the Marshall name off any work coming out of the Mack shop, as he was probably a proud man too, and how that would have been handled.