Interestingly enough I was asked if back in the olden days whether different makers sold each others figures. I said to myself that is a great question and the answer is a most definitive YES.
The first that comes to my mind is Madeline Maher. She sold reworked toy figures but also sold Insull figures and never made mention of that in her catalogues. She did put the Insull heads onto her own bodies as well as the reworked toy heads.
Madame & George Pinxy also sold figures as their own when in fact they were made by others. I have a great Mack figure which was reworked and sold by Madame Pinxy and you can see that on the Mack page of Ventriloquist Central Collection.
The attached pictures below is of a wonderful Frank Marshall girl figure which Pinxy put his burn mark into but it is clearly an all original Marshall figure.
Finis Robinson in his catalogue actually pictures a Frank Marshall figure and calls it his own. In this case I believe if you ordered this figure you would have received one of Finis’ figures and not a Marshall but he certainly used Frank’s work to promote himself.
Using others work is nothing new and has always taken place. I used to deal in antique clocks and loved the fact that two Boston based clock makers Waltham and E. Howard & Co used to sell each others products but put their own names on them.
Wonderful Frank Marshall girl figure
Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. His collection of ventriloquist figures now numbers over 100 figures of which there are over 50 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 2009 by Dan Willinger
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Didn;t Pinxy do the same thing with Paul Stadelman’s figure…”Windy Higgins” ?
I also think if you asked Finis for that special figure that looked like his daughter, I think he would have shipped her direct.!!