Repainting figures - (value)

Question: Should a collector figure be repainted?
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From Mr. D:  When I build a figure I prefer that it be used, not collected - that's my take as a figure maker.   I'd much prefer they be used year after year and repainted if and when necessary by whomever could do a good job on them.

However, I do recognize collections exist.  And the owners of the figures sincerely want to preserve them for future generations.   What is the proper process?   Collectors of antique automobiles generally want them restored to pristine condition as near to original as possible.  Does the same hold true for a vent figure?  I doubt there is one answer that is true for all figures.

 I know Vent Haven has had some of the Marshall figures repainted for restoration purposes, haven't they?   But there are other pieces in the collection, such as the shipwreck figures, where an attempt at restoration would be a mistake.    I know Jimmy Nelson has Danny repainted frequently by Ray Guyll, but Danny is still a working figure and should be kept looking his best.

So - should a collector figure be repainted?  I'll let the owner make that decision and then lend a hand if I'm called upon. 


  1. Hi Mr. D. Great answers, As you said they should be used, I was a President of a Baseball Museum in Nokomis, The B.pttomley Ruffing Schalk Baseball Museum, We have a Catchers Mit of Ray Schalk used in the 1919 Black Sox Scandle, He was On the White Sox, But He him Self Wasn.t ever implicated, Infact he would have stoped it Had he heard, Any way that Glove is as it was that day, except the Glove has turned almost Compleatly Black! Cooincidence! Age, Even though it is in a Squair Glass Case for atleast 50 years! Some things shouldn't be restored, Have a great Day, can you suggest some of your books on how to totally make a Figure, Eyes, Ears Eyelids Eyebrows, as much as possible! I may try to make a figure for my son, I would rather make it with him! Thanks, William Duff ( Bill )

  2. I'm with you on this Clinton. For me there's noting sadder than a lifeless figure and whilst I appreciate there are people who enjoy collecting things for a hobby if one wishes to collect vent figures then at least leave them in the state their previous owner (who loved and cherished them) last held them.

    Vent Haven is a little different. It's a museum there to preserve to the historical significance of ventriloquism and as you pointed out sometimes repainting some of those figures is necessary to preserve them.