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Ventriloquist's figure - Granville.  Vent doll, 19th century.

Granville. Vent doll, 19th century.

  • Object:

    Ventriloquist's figure

  • Date:

    ca.1900

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved wood with painted moulded papier maché; sewn hessian or burlap stuffed arms and upper legs with sewn velvet jacket and trousers and waistcoat, and glued horsehair.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Trustees of Longsands Museum

  • Museum number:

    S.749-2000

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Ventriloquist's figure known as 'Granville', wearing a double-breasted green velvet jacket, pink silk waistcoat, and beige velvet trousers. His jacket features six brass buttons decorated with a raised anchor pattern, three smaller buttons of the same type decorating his waistcoat. His hands, feet and lower leg section, and face are painted papier maché and his head is supported on a carved wooden torso section which was held from behind by the operator, through a cutaway section in the jacket. His arms and upper leg are constructed from a fine hessian material stuffed with wadding. His eyes and jaw section are moveable although the control strings are missing.

Date

ca.1900

Materials and Techniques

Carved wood with painted moulded papier maché; sewn hessian or burlap stuffed arms and upper legs with sewn velvet jacket and trousers and waistcoat, and glued horsehair.

Dimensions

Length: 77 cm top of head to sole of painted shoe, Width: 34 cm shoulder to shoulder

Object history note

This ventriloquist's dummy known as Granville, was formerly owned by Longsands Museum, St. Neot's, Cambridge, which was founded in 1970 in a comprehensive school, to hold the collection in trust until a local museum was founded closer to the town centre than Longsands. The St Neot's Museum opened in 1995 and Longsands Trustees transferred to it everything that fell within its collecting policy. Since this did not, it was offered to us by the Trustees in March 2000 and accepted in June 2000.

It was presented to us by the Trustees of the Museum, one of whom wrote about it:
'I do not know how it came to be in our museum but I hope to discover more about it when I next visit Longsands Museum on 9 & 10 May, though our record-keeping has notable gaps - our curator's untimely death has deprived us of our richest source of information.' However, as at September 2000, no more information about its provenance has been received.

Descriptive line

Victorian vetriloquist's vent doll or dummy, known as Granville, with carved torso and head; mapier-mâché additions and stuffed cloth upper limbs, dressed in velvet jacket and trousers, with decorative brass buttons on his waistcoat and jacket.

Production Note

Reason For Production: Private

Materials

Wood; Papier-mâché; Velvet; Burlap; Paint; Brass

Techniques

Hand carved; Moulded; Sewn; Cast

Categories

Ventriloquism; Puppetry

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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