Insull pocket puppet

In the mid to late 50s I purchased a small novelty figure from the Maher catalogue. I vaguely remember that it was from England and made to fit in a pocket with the head visible and controlled by a pneumatic rubber tube and ball. Are you able and willing to tell me more about it? His lower lip moves with a leather cover.

I dressed it in a body and simple wood frame to fit about my dummies’ leg in order to appear that my dummy had his own puppet which I operated via the pneumatic system. I was careful not to alter the original figure.

I don’t remember what I paid. Do you have any idea what he might be worth now?  Thank you for your assistance.   Ron Coulter 
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From Mr. D:   They were made by Len Insull and designed to fit into the vest coat pocket or breast pocket of a suit coat.  I still have one of these but it is in need of repair/restoration.  Yours appears to be in very good condition and the addition of a body for use as a "dummy's dummy" is clever.  How that modification might affects its value, I have no idea.  You won't have any difficulty finding prospective buyers, but I have no idea of it's market value today.   These were sold by Maher School of Ventriloquism while it was still located in Detroit, owned and operated by Madeleine Maher.  o they were before my time with the business.  However, I do think I remember seeing an old price sheet where these were offered for something like $7.50.  (I wish I had purchased a dozen! What a gold investment that would have been!)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9/03/2012

    I believe Ron's partner, Sid Starr, was also a Maher figure purchased from Fred & Madeleine, and he still looks great today as well!