After talking with Bill Nelson and showing him
the pictures of this figure Bill was able to confirm to me that this
particular figure is quite possibly his number one figure. Bill went
through his photo archive and found a picture of him in his workshop
in Richmond Virginia where he is in the process of sculpting heads.
The figure you see here is pictured in the sculpting stage in the
fore ground of this picture.
Bill sculpted in clay and then the heads were cast in fiberglass. No
molds of these figures were made so they are one of a kind. Bill had
someone in Richmond do the jaw mechanics and that was the only
function in the very first figures. The figures were cast in
fiberglass and were signed on the back of the neck. These early
figures were also flat bottom on the neck and used drop through
bodies. The paint Bill used back then was oils. This figure
according to Bill dates from late 1970 to early 1980 but he could
not pin down the exact date. Close enough for me.
In the background on the shelf and also scattered you will see the
static dolls which I mentioned in a previous
blog. Most notably is
Mr Horowitz as a static doll.
Bill confirmed with me that he believes this to be the first of a
trio of faces he made and was excited to see it was in the
Ventriloquist Central Collection.