The Talents of Ventriloquist Figure Maker Arthur Quisto

Arthur Quisto lived from 1882 to 1960. His real name was Edwin Simms. He was known primarily for his Punch & Judy Shows, but Quisto also built figures for Tom Coram and Arthur Prince.

He used pneumatic devices and was the first to use electromagnetic devices to animate his figures.

I was contacted via email by Nick Hawkins from the UK for information about an advertising automaton. Since I had no such information about this, Nick was kind enough to send the following email along with pictures:


Hi Dan,

Thanks for your reply. Here are photos of the publicity automaton with Quisto’s name, which appears once inside the body panel and once in the wooden base. It’s part of a collection at a German auction ( on November 20, and was once owned by Jack Donovan, a well-known English collector who had a shop in the Portobello Road.


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Before that he owned a hotel on the South Coast – I’m not sure where, but possibly it was also Teignmouth. He was collecting from the 1960s – 90s. t would be interesting (and probably now impossible) to find out whether he bought this automaton directly from Quisto and whether Quisto used it for advertising his shows.

Best wishes,



Nick thanks for sharing this information with us here at Ventriloquist Central.

I do have an all original Quisto figure in the Ventriloquist Central Collection.

Click here to see the Arthur Quisto 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:

Copyright 2010 by Dan Willinger

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

One Response to The Talents of Ventriloquist Figure Maker Arthur Quisto

  1. LeeDean says:

    Jimmy Gunner is my favorite

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