Recently I was able to purchase a couple figures used by Roy Catell ” International Singing Ventriloquist” this is what his card says and he was a performer in the 1940’s.
Unfortunately I have no information on him other than his card which says the above but no address or phone number.
The figure which you are looking at is also a curiosity to me because I have no idea as to the maker. He stands 42″ tall and his body is made of wood with muslin filled arms and legs and his hands are carved basswood. His head is also carved basswood.
He has slot jaw, raising eyebrows, and his eyes are again a curiosity to me. The move side to side and self center but I can see that they can also do all around movement. It is a very unusual spring set up. The eyes are made from ping pong balls similar to the McElroy’s eyes. He also has a smoker and a spitter but the are not currently working.
His carving is really very sharp and on stage really looks great. His paint is original too as well as the wig. I will remove the wig, wash and style it and then replace it when done and it will look much better.
Also you will notice that under the chin is a cloth that is tacked in to hide the gap. I do believe it originally had leather.
The controls are a combination of lever and ring pull. The controls still work rather well.
This guy is a great addition to the Ventriloquist Central Collection and I hope you enjoy seeing a figure that is truly unique.
Click here to see Roy Catell Ventriloquist Figure Maker Unknown
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 2011 by Dan Willinger
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I found this in Billboard Dec. 5, 1942 and somewhere it mentions, “Sales were made by Roy Cattell, ventriloquist, thru his dummies, according to Neal Lang, proprietor of the nitery. Visits each patron’s table between shows…”
I finally located the article, pagedown, right hand column under caption
Films Sub for Talent:
“Camden, N.J. Nov. 28 – Nightclubs in Southern New Jersey are joining with the South Jersey division of the New Jersey Licensed Beverage Dealers’ Association in the War Bond and Stamp selling campaign fostered by the liquor industry. The liquor wholesalers are serving as the clearing house for the bond sales. Since manufacturing the sales drive at the after-dark spots, the Cat and Fiddle Inn at Waterford has led the field. Sales are made by Roy Cattell, ventriloquist, thru his dummies, according to Neal Lang, proprietor of the nitery. Visits each patron’s table between shows, containing intimate entertainment with his sales applied for bonds and stamps.”