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
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.