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A Mystery (among many!) at the Haven

January 13, 2019

Thanks today to Dave Dixon for adopting (and 'readopting') this little dummy named, "Marshall boy".  This figure has an unclear history and acquisition story.  It was definitely made by iconic figuremaker Frank Marshall of Chicago, Illinois, but it's been repainted by someone else.  The wig was placed at some point after the dummy joined the collection.

 

 

 

Typically, Mr. Berger had substantial correspondence with donors and sellers prior to acquiring a dummy. For this piece, though, there is no correspondence at all.  Just these two identification cards that Mr. Berger wrote.  

 

If you read the cards, you'll see that he wrote, "from Marshall...maker of flowers; he bought it from an estate".  This reference is to Horace Marshall of Akron, Ohio.  According to Magicpedia:

 

Horace Marshall (1902-1976), began his career in magic working the Chautauqua Circuit in 1923 with partner John Frye, using many of his own creations.  In 1926, Marshall decided to devote full-time to the creation, manufacture and sales of magical apparatus and started H. Marshall and Company, making all items by hand.  Marshall was a prop builder known for his Feather Flower bouquets built for Harry Blackstone. Horace purchased the business of Rudolph S. Schlosser who built Blackstone's "Light Bulbs Thru a Girl" and Houdini's "Flight of Time". He was an avid collector of old and rare books on the magic and in 1940 the Akron Magic Club was designated, "The Horace Marshall Ring No. 161", of the I.B.M.