I was quite surprised to see the Frank Byron Jr figure listed for sale on eBay. They are a rare figure for sure but the seller unfortunately is wrong about his facts. I actually wrote in to him and my email, which he posted at the bottom starts with FYI.
The Original Frank Byron Jr figure resides at the Vent Haven Museum. This figures duplicarver head was acquired by Frank Marshall with his acquisition of the Mack Shop.
He listed these figures for sale in his 1931 catalogue (click here to see catalogue). They were done of special order only. The Vent Haven has a couple and I have one in the Ventriloquist Central Collection (click here to see).
The dead give away for me that the figure listed was not made by Mack was the hands. I have 2 Frank Marshall figures with those flat style hands with the fingers separated. Also the wedge cut under the chin. If it were made by Mack it would most certainly have had the leather under the chin.
The paint of this figure looks like it was done with a roller and although he states his parents touched it up it has clearly been repainted and as I have stated numerous times in the past a collector will never pay the high money for a figure that has been redone.
The eye is a rolling winker on this figure and clearly it needs some work.
All in all it is a nice example of the Byron figures which Frank Marshall produced but I think the value of the figure is somewhere around his starting price ,and that is all, in it’s present condition.
These are my thoughts on this interesting ventriloquist figure!!
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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Yes Dan, you’re correct; Lester’s Frank Byron Jr. resides at Vent Haven Museum, along with a much later version that Frank Marshall carved. Also is the duplicarver head that Frank used for making copies, that too is at Vent Haven in the Frank Marshall display case.