Skinner

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Gustave Vichy Automaton of "Jean Qui Pleure"

Auction:
2314
Lot:
347
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Auction:
Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2314
Location:
Bolton
Date / Time :
November 03, 2005 10:00AM

Description:

Gustave Vichy Automaton of "Jean Qui Pleure" , with papier-mache head, narrowed brown glass eyes, open-closed mouth with painted teeth and tongue, brown mohair wig and flock-covered papier-mache dunce's cap with pencil name "ANE" (donkey) on the front and articulated metal donkey ears, a book in his left hand, sitting on a school bench with fretwork panels, the going-barrel movement in the bench causing the dunce to nod and shake his head up-and-down and from side-to-side, raise his right arm to his eyes as though crying, kick his left leg impatiently and flick his donkey ears, in the original red-and-white wool vest, broderie-anglaise shirt, ribbed satin and polychrome striped waistcoat, striped breeches, stockings and leather shoes, ht. 19 in., (fingers repaired), with Vichy key and acorn stop/start.

Literature: Christian Bailly (1987), Automata, the Golden Age, pp. 104 and 244. Inspired by the popular 19th century French song "Jeanne Qui Rit and Jean Qui Pleure", this figure of the crying dunce was the companion piece to Vichy's "Jeanne Who Laughs", an automaton of a smiling girl on a school bench. The expressive features of both figures are said to have been modeled on the two-faced "Surprise" doll by Bru. (See Skinner's auction of Toys and Dolls, 3 May 2005, lot 771 for an example of this doll).
Estimate $10,000-15,000

Keywords

Gustave Vichy Automaton, Vichy's "Jeanne, metal donkey ears, Christian Bailly, Automaton, Donkey