Back in the mid 1950’s there was a figure maker named William Kirk Brown who made some pretty interesting paper mache ventriloquist figures. Paper mache was not being used very much by this time with figures now being carved from wood or done in wood dough.
William Kirk Brown was inspired by W.S. Berger who gave him a book from England showing some puppets and Mr Brown copied their look. Although his figures are rare today (I have only been offered one of his figures) they are not too valuable and you can purchase them usually under the $700.00 price range.
I myself think that is too much money but these will sell to the antique dealer as folk art which takes them out of the ventriloquist world and place them on a different level.
Here are four pictures of a William Kirk Brown ventriloquist figure:
Check out one of his brochures
Ventriloquist Central is the brainchild of Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst. Dan 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. Steve is a ventriloquist as well as builder of ventriloquist figures. He also has a background in sales, marketing, building websites and computers. Because they both love the art of ventriloquism, the website Ventriloquist Central was born. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Copyright 2015 by Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst
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Wm. Kirk Brown was my grandfather through his daughter Alice May Brown. I have all the photo albums containing playbills, photos and other memorabilia of my grandparents when they conducted shows on vaudeville. It was my understanding that my grandmother was the first female ventriloquist on vaudeville. I would like to know more about him. If you have any additional detail, please let me know.