Early Tableau Mecanique Automaton of a Magician
- Sold for:
- Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2314
- Date / Time :
- November 03, 2005 10:00AM
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.