Roullet et Decamps Automaton of a Spanish Serenade
- Sold for:
- Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2314
- Date / Time :
- November 03, 2005 10:00AM
Roullet et Decamps Automaton of a Spanish Serenade, depicting a matador playing his mandoline to a maiden in the tower, the matador with unmarked FG bisque head, closed mouth, fixed bright blue eyes, brown mohair wig, pleated shirt, cream satin breeches and bolero jacket with metal-thread edging, the maiden with closed-mouth bisque shoulderhead, fixed blue eyes, blonde mohair wig, Spanish costume and headdress, on sculptural papier-mache base modeled as a rocky outcrop with blossom tree above a painted-stone building, a kennel with fur-covered guard dog beneath a glazed window surrounded by rose creepers rising to a tin turret with curved grain-painted door and pinnacle, with bellows and five-cam going-barrel movement in the base playing a single air, wd. 16 in., ht. 25 in.
Note: The matador strums the mandoline, turns his head and looks up at the tower, as the door flies open and the maiden emerges, leaning over the parapet and throwing kisses with her right hand (articulated for two movements and the wrist and elbow). The movement is repeated three times, before she slowly withdraws and the door closes. The dog emerges from the kennel periodically, moving his lower jaw and "barking". Originally advertised at 90 francs, this was one of the more expensive items in the Decamps catalogue. A similar piece is illustrated in Automata, The Golden Age, p. 150.