Ventriloquist's wood and papier-mâché dummy was made in Austria, c.1935 - £1550 at Halls.

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The 3ft (95cm) tall wood and papier-mâché figure was made in Austria, c.1935, and its owner, a keen amateur ventriloquist, brought it to Britain when fleeing Nazi persecution in 1939. He served with the Intelligence Corps until 1956 and gave performances at regimental functions with ‘Maxie’ and magic tricks, recording them in his diaries.

Maxie had the problems of age: a broken nose and various cracks and his evening dress and spats had some moth damage.

However, the mechanism operating the mouth and eyebrows and eyelids all work and at the September 1 sale, offered with magic tricks and diaries, Maxie was off on his travels again courtesy a five-times estimate £1550 online bid from a Florida collector.