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Early Tableau Mecanique Automaton by Antoine Vichy

Auction:
2314
Lot:
325
Sold for:
$4,994$4,250

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Auction:
Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2314
Location:
Bolton
Date / Time :
November 03, 2005 10:00AM

Description:

Early Tableau Mecanique Automaton by Antoine Vichy, circa 1850, in the form of a theatre with five Grodnertal wooden dancers, three ladies and two gentlemen, all with painted features, molded black hair, articulated satin-covered legs, carved limbs, dressed in their original polychrome satin costumes trimmed with lace, ribbons and gold Dresden paper, in bright color and strong condition, arranged in a stage setting with original star-pattern papers, three metal mirrors and embossed gold paper borders, in hinged ebonized frame with one (of two) side catches, the top, back and sides covered in period hand-blocked papers of pastoral scenes, the going-barrel movement driving single-air cylinder movement (playing a Hornpipe) and three weighted see-saw levers causing the figures to dance, lift and twirl, wd. 19 x ht. 13 x dp. 9 in.

Note: This type of mechanical picture dates from the earliest days of the Vichy firm. Examples of early Vichy tableaux in private collections include a Chinese juggler and a pair of dancing sailors. The same cylinder movement seems to have been used on the sailors, who dance (appropriately) to a hornpipe tune, and the distinctive see-saw action of the cams is also characteristic of the production.
Estimate $4,000-6,000

Keywords

Antoine Vichy, Dresden, metal mirrors, Automaton, English music, Historical dance