Auctioneers and Appraisers

Rare Twenty-Key Barrel Organ Automaton by Théroude for Thibouville Lamy

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Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2345
Date / Time :
July 29, 2006 10:00AM


Rare Twenty-Key Barrel Organ Automaton by Théroude for Thibouville Lamy, circa 1862, with six-air barrel operating five cams, a brass starwheel and a pinned wheel on wood shaft and causing the monkey violinist to look from side to side, nod, blink and chatter (audibly not visibly), while playing the violin with three movements of his right arm (shoulder, wrist and elbow) and tapping his left foot in time to the music, in the original red silk tailcoat edged in gold Dresden paper, ivory satin waistcoat, lace jabot, cuffs and "powdered" silk wig, a tricorn hat, music stand and violin case at his feet, in glazed room setting in French Empire style with gilt mirrors and paper panels flanking a silk-draped alcove, the original hand-blocked papers of blue and gold floret pattern with embossed cornice and marbled baseboard, on rosewood veneered base with inlaid motif depicting a classical urn, ht. 35 in., nine movements, (silk fragile on sleeves and knees, approx. three / four defective reeds).

Note: Thibouville Lamy was a Parisian retailer of musical instruments - both manual and self-playing - founded in 1790. The company acted as agent for the French musical box manufacturer Auguste L'Epee, the organ builders at Mirecourt, and automata maker Alexandre Théroude. Théroude took out a patent for an apparently identical monkey automaton in 1862, and showed "an organ embellished by a scene with automata" at the London Exhibition of the same year.
Estimate $8,000-12,000


Dresden, monkey violinist , reeds, Alexandre Théroude, Auguste L'Epee, Mirecourt, automata maker, musical box manufacturer, organ builders, Automaton, Musical box, Thibouville