A Superb Quality Early 20th Century Ventriloquist's Dummy


Origin: English
Period: Early/Mid 20th Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1930-40
Height: 39 inches
Width (Shoulder to Shoulder): 11 inches
Depth: 8 inches (maximum)

Of high build quality, the head and body constructed of a combination of paper maché, and plaster composition parts and lower limbs with fabric attachments. The hands are painted in a very light skin colour, the legs consist of black painted simulated shoes. The face is also in a light skin color with reddened cheeks; the lips are painted red, the eyebrows and eyelashes black.

The costume for the dummy is of the highest tailored quality, and in excellent condition. The dummy has a quality English top hat with him, which may or may not be original to the dummies first appearances. The brass buttons on the jacket are embossed with anchors so there is a nautical theme to the dummy.

There are four actions for the dummy operated by metal levers, all fully functional being the mouth, the leather lower top and lower lips both move up or down to reveal white-painted teeth and the eyes flick side to side. The ears and eyebrows move outward and upward giving huge comical effect.

In good overall original condition, there has been no over painting but there are a few chips to the paint to the face, especially the nose, and the feet have some flaking to the paint.

The uncanny nature of ventriloquist’s dummies has enthralled and spooked people for decades, and they continue to feature in horror films to this day. The idea of the ghost in the inanimate object is not a new one, Freud has written at length on the subject in his discussions on the uncanny, and ghost stories have featured dolls and portraits coming to life for centuries.

This is one funny dummy, trust me.