Len Insull was a great promoter of his ventriloquist figures on his own right but in the mid 1960’s he decided to let Davenport’s Magic Shop in London sell his products.
Len Insull would deliver the figures to Davenport where they would then stamp the bottom of the neck and the head stick with their name. I have seen this stamp on the bottom board of the body as well. When you find an Insull figure which does not have this marking you know the figure was sold by the master maker himself.
During the earlier years of Len Insull’s career he did sell some of his creations to W.S. Burger of the Vent Haven ( most notably the Insull pockets figures ) for resale and also Madeline Maher purchased heads from Insull which she then married to her own bodies for sale.
I think that when Insull finally joined forces with Davenport Magic the sales of his items ceased except for with Davenport Magic. This is not fact but merely speculation on my part.
Over in England Geoff Felix carries on the tradition of the Insull figures and using the original molds produces the Insull style figures to this day. Unfortunately he will not sell to us across the pond. If you want one of his figures it must be purchased from him in England.
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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Another Awesome article full of information!
Is Geoff Felix the one who is making the Insull style figures Davenport Magic is selling today?
Sice they have current offerings it’s making me wary of knowing if a figure is an actual Insull (in great shape) or if it is a newer figure made by someone else sold by Davenport.
You Are The Best!