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Early Tableau Mecanique Automaton of a Magician

Auction:
2314
Lot:
383
Sold for:
$12,925$11,000

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

Description:

Early Tableau Mecanique Automaton of a Magician, possibly by Theroude, circa 1850, with parian head, molded blonde hair, closed mouth, painted eyes, wood body and carved hands holding two paper cups, standing behind a draped table with turned legs and paper-covered surface of hand-blocked star designs, in room setting with stage and original papers, the two-air pull-string cylinder movement driving three pinned wheels and causing the magician to turn his head and lift the cups simultaneously to reveal a series of six changes: two dice, left die, right die, two yellow balls, two red balls, and nothing, in the original exotic blue satin robes with cape-sleeves and turban trimmed with gold Dresden borders and rosettes, ht. figure 7 in., in ebonized frame 17 x 14 x 5 in., (costume faded and fragile).

Alexandre Theroude was one of the earliest 19th Century Parisian automata makers, active from around 1832 - 1878. The firm exhibited at international exhibitions in London and Paris, and held patents for a number of automata - from manivelles and clockwork animals - to larger and more complex pieces. The near-miniature size and the pinned mechanism are both unusual features in a magician automaton, and this is one of the earliest magicians of its type to appear at auction in recent years.
Estimate $10,000-15,000

Keywords

Magician , Alexandre Theroude, parian head , Dresden, London, Paris, Automata, Automaton, Magic, Robotics