Ilene Karnow's Brian Hamilton
Ventriloquist Figure

 

As would happen I was contacted by Ilene Wonsover, formally known as Miss Karnow. She was an actress, singer, dancer and ventriloquist and came from the Chicago area.

 
(Early Pictures of Ilene)

At a very young age she used a Juro Figure but showed promise so her mother hooked her up with Paul Stadleman and she took lessons from him. With this her mother decided to purchase Ilene a pro ventriloquist figure and contacted a young and up and coming vent figure builder named Brian Hamilton.

A contract was made and in 1977 a wonderful carved basswood figure, that was fully equipped, was delivered to then 22 year old Ilene. She has kept this figure, which she called JK.  She decided he should become a member of the Ventriloquist Central Collection.

I usually don't take as many pictures as I have with this fellow but Brian's wood carved figures are about as rare as you can get so I wanted you to see everything.

He has slot jaw, side to side self centering eyes, raising eyebrows, winkers / blinkers and a hand shaker. He stands just shy of 40" tall and everything on him is original. His paint and wig.

As matter of fact I am the first person to remove the wig from the head to show the mechanics. Brian was very skilled when it came to mechanics and that is clearly evident. The levers are cut out of a thick plastic and are very comfortable to use.

The finish work to the face is fantastic but as the pictures show he didn't take too much care for the back of the head which was covered by the wig. Brian's cards are in the body as well as dated inside the head. Under the card in the head it is signed in pencil Bhamilton.